Does Your Workplace Need a Fresh Start?

smoking4Does your workplace have tobacco users? If so, your business could benefit from offering the free and highly effective Fresh Start program to help employees quit tobacco.

Fresh Start is a tobacco cessation counseling program designed by the American Cancer Society. It helps people stop using tobacco by arming them with information, providing skills for coping with cravings and offering group support.

Get Healthy, Live Well is helping local businesses launch the Fresh Start tobacco cessation program in their workplace. All it takes is one volunteer from your business to be trained as a class facilitator (the free training is online and takes about 1.5 hours to complete).

The facilitator will then lead a Fresh Start class in their workplace once a week for about 30 minutes. The program lasts for three weeks.

It’s an extremely cost-effective way to get a healthier and more productive workforce. Just one employee quitting smoking could save a company $6,000 a year, according to a 2013 study from Ohio State University on the cost of smoking.

“The return on investment is great,” said Phyllis Head, community outreach coordinator at Tanner Health System. “It costs nothing to set it up and all the company needs to do is let employees take half an hour for the class.”

Here are some of the benefits. Having fewer smokers and a smoke-free environment will save the company money with insurance, boost productivity and help reduce sick days.

Get Healthy, Live Well is especially looking for employees who are former tobacco users to be trained as facilitators to lead classes since they understand first-hand the challenges of quitting.

“It’s not at all difficult to lead the class, and it helps when the facilitator can share the experiences they have been through with tobacco,” Head explained.

Fresh Start is known as one of the best ways to quit smoking. It offers personalized help to each participant because it educates about all the options — nicotine replacement, medication or cold turkey — and lets participants decide what works best for them.

Several local businesses are planning to soon begin offering the Fresh Start program to their employees. If your business is interested starting the Fresh Start program, please contact Phyllis Head at (770) 812-6295 or phead@tanner.org.