Community Magazine Charities - Spring 2017

Quitting Smoking Is Good For Health And Business

Kristina Hamilton 2017-03-03 01:25:35

The American Lung Association’s smoking cessation program helps individuals go smoke-free for life Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and causes 480,000 deaths each year. With nearly 41,000 people dying from secondhand smoke exposure nationwide annually, many nonsmokers are negatively affected by smoking, as well. Currently, the smoking rate in Chicago is at a historic low with 17.7 percent of adults reporting smoking in 2013 compared to 22.6 percent in 2011. Working toward ultimately eliminating tobacco use is a prime component of the mission of the American Lung Association. The costs of smoking are astounding: On average, employers can save $5,800 per year for every employee that quits smoking. Illinois residents’ state and federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures is $909 per household. Direct medical expenses and lost productivity resulting from premature death for people with smoking-related diseases cost $157 billion per year or $3,856 per smoker per year nationwide. To calculate this cost for a Chicago business, the following formula can be used to provide an estimate: (# employees) x (0.177) x ($3,856/year) = cost per year (.177 is the smoking rate in Chicago.) Tobacco use is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 70 percent of current smokers want to quit, but just six percent are successful. Research shows that those looking to quit are three times as likely to succeed with the help of counseling and some form of nicotine replacement therapy. The American Lung Association’s highly effective, online, over the phone and in person smoking cessation program is used by employers, hospitals, health plans and other organizations to help the individuals they serve become smoke-free for life: ONLINE Freedom From Smoking Plus is an innovative behavior-change program that works on a desktop, tablet or smartphone. The program includes nine highly interactive sessions split into three phases: Getting Ready to Quit, Quit Day and Staying Smokefree. It includes telephone and online chat support from the American Lung Association’s expert tobacco cessation counselors at the Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA). WITH A GROUP Within a small, in-person setting (up to 16 individuals), participants can receive personalized attention and peer support. Led by a Lung Association-trained facilitator, this seven week program gives participants time to prepare to quit and practice being smokefree in a collaborative environment. To learn more, visit Lung.org/FFS. BY PHONE The Illinois Tobacco Quitline offers a highly effective smoking cessation program that is used by employers to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and manage ever-increasing employee health care costs. The ITQL offers phwone, online and self-help resources provided by counselors who are registered nurses, respiratory therapists and certified tobacco treatment specialists. All quit programs are specifically tailored to the client. To learn more, call 1-866-QUIT-YES or visit QuitYes.org ON YOUR OWN Freedom From Smoking® : The Guide to Help You Quit Smoking is an interactive manual that addresses the difficulties of quitting with real-life advice, helpful activities and an innovative graphic approach that enhances learning. It can be used on its own or as a supplement to any Freedom From Smoking® option. For more information, contact Kristina A. Hamilton, MPH, Senior Manager, Tobacco Control American Lung Association in Greater Chicago (312) 781-1100, ChicagoSmokeFree@Lung.org

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