- The city of Dayton, Ohio, is now a tobacco-free employer, reported CNN. "It is the policy of the City to provide a safe, healthy, smoke-free and tobacco-free work environment for all employees and citizens visiting our facilities," reported CNN, quoting the city's policy.
- According to CNN, Dayton officials started researching the idea of a smoke-free work environment in 2012 through the city's Be Well Program. The city doesn't think the policy will hamper its ability to attract talent, although it's getting pushback from the Dayton Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 44, which participated in drafting the policy, CNN reported. One representative from the union told CNN that the current policy could violate union contracts and make recruiting harder.
- Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC has noted that if global smoking habits don't change, more than 8 million people will die annually from tobacco-related diseases by 2030.
An OfficeTeam survey found 73% of the respondents said they factor in well-being when choosing employers. That likely explains why around half of U.S. employers have well-being programs, research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the CDC and RTI International found.
Employers recognize the ability of well-being programs to maintain a healthier work environment, engage talent and improve healthcare costs and productivity. But employees don't always report experiencing the benefits of well-being programs, according to the National Business Group on Health (NBGH). To make well-being programs more effective, NBGH cited some successful tactics employers have tried: 1) include a financial incentive in the well-being program because money problems, including student loan debt, afflict many workers; 2) help employees make the right cost-saving healthcare choices; and 3) communicate information about those programs via texting.
A smoking cessation program may be worth the investment for employers, especially considering the health dangers and the healthcare costs associated with tobacco use. The U.S. spends about $170 billion on medical care for adults annually because of the ill effects of smoking, and smoking costs more than $156 billion in lost productivity each year, the CDC found.