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Staying Smoke Free at Work

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibiting smoking in all workplaces has helped many people who smoke cut down on their tobacco use which in turn makes it easier when you are ready to quit for good. But it can still be difficult to fight the urge to go out with co-workers when they head outside on breaks to light up. To help you avoid the temptation follow these tips:

  • Stay inside when others go out for a cigarette. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can still go with your group and fight the urge.
  • Bring a book to work and read while your smoking co-workers are outside, or head out in the opposite direction and take a brisk walk.
  • If a work deadline has you stressed out take a few deep breaths and stretch or get up and get a glass of water as a change in scenery.
  • Be sure to let your co-workers know that you are trying to quit and ask them to encourage and support you.
  • Ask your employer about steps they can take to promote a smoke-free environment.
  • Your employer may be open to sponsor a smoking cessation program or provide funding for you to join one. Most employers know that smoke-free workplaces and non-smoking employees make good business sense.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, on average each employee who smokes costs his or her employer an estimated $4,256 in 2012 - more than $3,800 in lost productivity due to unsanctioned smoking breaks and more than $400 in lost productivity due to absenteeism. This amount has risen by more than 25 per cent since the Conference Board's 2005 estimate.

Some employers have also designated all areas around doors as tobacco free to ensure their customers won’t have to walk through a cloud of smoke to enter their premises. Others have decided to make their grounds 100% smoke free including e-cigarettes and unlit tobacco products to promote and support tobacco-free living.

Ask whether your company has a drug plan that covers the cost of prescription and over the counter nicotine replacement therapies that can support your quit attempt. Other ways an employer can support tobacco-free living is implementing purchasing and other policies that promote a tobacco-free lifestyle.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has information that can help companies move to 100% tobacco or smoke-free grounds. For more information call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.

Benefits of Quitting

Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Other Products and Services to Help You Quit

Smoking and Oral Health

Eat Well and Keep Weight Off When You Quit

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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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