Case Study: Smoking Cessation And Workplace Benefits

HealthNow is proud to be supporting companies across the country in optimising their returns, improving their workplace culture and productivity, supporting the hiring and retention of new staff, and gaining a myriad of benefits by supporting the health of their employees – a true win-win partnership. We are always intrigued as to the large range of ways that businesses are benefiting from HealthNow, and one such way that is increasingly popular, is in supporting smoking cessation in employees.

According to Smokefree NZ:

  • Taking four 10-minute smoking breaks daily adds up to working one month less than a non-smoker over the course of a year
  • Those who smoke stay sicker for longer, taking about three times more sick days annually compared to non-smokers
  • Smoking contributes to reduced work performance and productivity while increasing anxiety and decreasing concentration
  • Smoking increases workplace clean-up and maintenance costs

And after successfully quitting smoking? Not only do employees get to reap the personal health benefits – such as reductions in the risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes and various other issues, but research shows that at work, productivity is then increased with absenteeism decreased in former smokers compared to current smokers.

HealthNow For Smoking Cessation

The challenge with workplace smoking cessation programs is that while this approach does well for some, it is not the most effective approach for everyone, and some people gain far greater benefits from one-on-one care for their smoking cessation. This is where some of the companies offering HealthNow have seen an impact.

Many avenues for smoking cessation start with an appointment with the GP, followed by pharmacist intervention and even psychology or other counselling services. Those who want to quit smoking may also look to replace their habit with a healthier alternative such as exercise, or may want to improve their knowledge on nutrition or other factors that will help contribute to a healthy lifestyle. This is where we’re getting great feedback on HealthNow being able to support this group of employees in a way that is most meaningful to them.

HealthNow is able to fund the doctors consultations, as well as pharmacy prescriptions for aids to support smoking cessation, if needed. During the GP appointment, an assessment of the person’s overall health and lifestyle often leads to other recommendations for health improvement, which may typically be put in the “too hard” or “unaffordable” basket. However, with employees knowing they have funds available specifically for bettering their health and well-being, this solution looks like a realistic and attractive option. As such, this group of employees who may have previously been overlooked are given the opportunity to make genuine, long-lasting and meaningful change in their lives through smoking cessation, with great benefits to both the employee and employer.

With the New Zealand 2022/23 Health Survey showing that smokers are now among the minority, with the daily rate of smoking down to just 6.8%, this more ‘private’ route to smoking cessation may also feel more comfortable for many, and the results of a smoke-free workplace can go a long way in supporting company culture and the team as a whole.

Experiencing great wins and positive changes within your team or organisation after the implementation and use of HealthNow? Share it with us today.

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