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Cut it out! Creating a smoke-free workplace

Posted by: The Balanced Worker
Tags: smoking , champion , stress ,

Did you know that smoking is still considered to be the largest single preventable cause of death and disease in Australia? It affects almost all of the organs in the body and causes cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and many other damaging and potentially fatal conditions. And the damage doesn't stop with the smoker - there are proven risks to non-smokers too, through being exposed to tobacco smoke, known as passive smoking.

Workplaces have minimum requirements under OSH legislation that need to be met, however organisations really need to go above and beyond these requirements if they really want to make a difference to the health of their employees. 

So, is it time to refresh your workplace's smoke-free strategies...

What can you do?

The good news for workplaces is that there's a lot of support and resources out there that you can tap into - no need to re-invent the wheel...phew! Here's a list of resources, strategies and programs you can use to help support your staff to quit.

Supporting health starts with good workplace policy

  • Check out Cancer Council WA's Smoke-free policy guidance brochure, which outlines each step you need to consider when developing a policy
  • Supporting smoke-free workplaces - a policy implementation guide is a comprehensive document outlining responsibilities under legislation and discusses in detail the steps involved in becoming a smoke-free workplace. It also includes a sample policy, employee survey and a review of quitting products
  • Cancer Council WA have developed a Smoke-free policy template which has done a lot of the hard work for you, by listing items you can include in your policy

Create a supportive environment to enable change

  • Put up some smoke-free signage around your workplace. You can order signage free of charge from the Department of Health's Tobacco Control Branch
  • Display posters and provide brochures in high traffic areas to promote the negative health effects of smoking. You can order free resources from the Quitnow website or download posters and brochures from the Make Smoking History, Cancer Council WA website
  • The Quit because you can booklet can be downloaded and printed, or sent out as a link to staff. It provides practical advice to help smokers to plan and quit smoking

Promote quit smoking activities and programs

  • Cancer Council WA can assist with developing your smoke-free policy
  • The Quitnow website provides useful information including the benefits of quitting, different methods of quitting and offers strategies and guidance for those finding it difficult to quit
  • The Quitline service can double the chance of quitting successfully. Workers can call Quitline on 13 7848 or register for a Quitline call back on their website
  • There are a range of phone apps and computer programs available that can assist workers on their quit journey, inlcuding QuitCoach and My QuitBuddy.
  • The Quit Calculator lets you calculate how much money you can save if you quit smoking and how long it would take before you could use these savings for something special, like a holiday
  • The Make Smoking History's Facebook page is regularly updated with smoking facts and figures

About The Balanced Worker

Worker, dietitian, avid gym-goer and workplace health champion

View all posts by The Balanced Worker

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