November is best known for elections, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday. But it’s also packed with special events you can use to raise awareness about the benefits of quitting tobacco to employees or members.
Here’s an overview of 4 observances to use this November:
COPD Awareness Month
The World Health Organization anticipates that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will be the third leading cause of death by 2030, in part due to increases in tobacco use. COPD is costly for individuals and it’s especially expensive for employers. It contributes to $3.9 billion in absenteeism-related costs and 16.4 million days of lost work.
The best way for people to prevent this disease is to not smoke or to stop smoking. To heighten awareness, consider creating a campaign to educate your workforce about the serious health risk of COPD and smoking.
For very real insights on the impact of COPD on people who smoked—and the benefits they realized since quitting, our EX Community is a rich resource. It even has a group devoted to tobacco users with COPD. Consider this post, for example, from an EX Community member:
“I knew for a fact I had COPD yet chose not to hear the diagnosis nor share it and smoked anyway. Denial bought me more time to smoke. That was not a smart move. Facing the truth is hard but it’s the first step to health. I can’t tell you how much changing just two things in my life made such a difference in how I feel. Quitting smoking and walking have changed how I can breathe. Every crave was worth getting past and through. Craves are curable, COPD [is] not.”
National Healthy Skin Month
Chemicals in tobacco smoke affect collagen and elastin in facial skin and even skin on the arms. Squinting to keep smoke out of the eyes can also contribute to wrinkles. Quitting can help clear up blemishes and protect skin from premature aging and wrinkling. And this could be a motivator for a subset of tobacco users.
Our data show that appearance and smell motivate more than 50% to try to quit on the EX platform. As part of your November health communications, be sure to highlight this additional health benefit that people can experience when they quit smoking!
Veteran’s Day, November 11
Research indicates that 24% of military personnel smoke, with 38% of current smokers saying they started smoking after joining. Studies show that productivity suffers when military personnel smoke, and they don’t perform as well on physical fitness tests as their nonsmoking peers.
Like civilian smokers, it can be difficult for those in the military and those retired from the military to quit smoking. This Veteran’s Day, show veterans in your workforce that you care by helping them quit tobacco—and improving their health.
Great American Smokeout® is November 19
The Great American Smokeout from the American Cancer Society is designed to be a day that helps tobacco users build momentum for their quit journey by pledging to give up cigarettes for 24 hours. But use caution: this day may also make some feel anxious and pressured.
Consider this post, for example, from a member in our EX Community about this annual event:
“Personally, I HATED the day and the idea of it when I was a smoker. You can’t MAKE a person quit. They must come to it for their own reasons in their own time. You have to educate, prepare, plan and commit to quitting. This day treats it like it is just a bad habit, which we all know it is not.”
So be thoughtful and compassionate in your approach when promoting this event. Don’t set the expectation that people have one day to stop smoking. Use the Great American Smokeout to emphasize you offer easily accessible resources to support someone on their journey to overcoming tobacco addiction.
Support quitting tobacco efforts all year
For events or observances, such as the Great American Smokeout, we regularly provide clients with promotions that help keep resources to quit top of mind, so they know where to turn when they are ready.
Providing clients with ongoing updated promotions is just one of many benefits we offer. To learn more about how the EX Program works to inspire more tobacco-free lives, visit our program page or contact us to see a demo today.