Supporting Employees Who Want to Quit


Helping employees who want to quit smoking or cut down is cost-effective and worthwhile.  The health benefits of quitting begin immediately and can lead to a longer life and better health. Here are some suggestions on how to raise awareness and support smoking cessation in the workplace:

  • Provide self-help materials (i.e. pamphlets) and information on where to find help in the community.  Call public health or your local Canadian Cancer Society.

  • Provide minimal intervention/counselling by Occupational Health and/or Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

  • Provide on-site support groups, and/or support participation in local tobacco treatment programs.

  • Encourage people who smoke to speak with a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about medications to support their quitting efforts.

  • Determine whether or not your insurance benefits provider offers coverage for quit smoking products (i.e; Nicotine Replacement Therapy – patch, gum, inhaler).

  • Encourage non-smoking workers to support friends who are in the process of cutting down or quitting.

  • Implement an incentive program that includes prizes (i.e. tickets for sporting events, movie passes) for employees who have recently made changes in their smoking habits.  Even small rewards or recognition, such as a company newsletter can help smokers succeed.

  • Provide opportunities to promote healthy living (i.e. offer partial gym memberships or exercise equipment rebates; allow employees time for walks and stretch breaks). .

  • Host contests and special events during National Non-Smoking Week (January), World Tobacco Day (May 31st) and Canada’s Healthy Workplace Week (October).

  • Offer an information session that is convenient and fun for employees (i.e. a “lunch’n learn”).

  • Gather and share testimonials from successful quitters.  Highlight success stories on a bulletin board, in a newsletter, or at a public function.


Employees spend a great deal of time at work.  Therefore, the workplace is a perfect environment to encourage smokers to quit.   So much in fact, that a smoke-free workplace policy may provide the incentive an employee needs to succeed!




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