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Answers to Your Cessation Program Questions – SHRM Webinar Recap

Answers to Your Cessation Program Questions – SHRM Webinar Recap

Are people engaged and using your tobacco cessation program—even after they receive the incentive? Does your cessation program connect people with resources at meaningful, teachable moments when they are more likely to quit, such as when tobacco bans go in to effect?

It should.

There are 4 key factors to consider with cessation programs to ensure your approach sets participants—and your company—up for success to gain lower healthcare costs and better health. And they are not what you think.

We discussed these topics and more during our recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) webcast “4 Ways to Make Your Tobacco Cessation Program Actually Work.”

During the webcast, Amanda Graham, Ph.D., senior vice president of Innovations, and I discussed what it takes to drive higher engagement in a cessation program and help today’s tobacco users quit. We shared:

  • How digital vs. traditional approaches to cessation stack up
  • Proven best practices with digital interventions that boost engagement
  • Which trending local and state policy changes to capitalize on to help tobacco users quit
  • Tips to rethink your approach with incentives for cessation

We had strong attendance from HR professionals at companies in a range of industries, including manufacturing, energy, and healthcare. Below are responses to questions from attendees we didn’t have time to address during the live session. Missed our webinar? Download it for free on-demand on the SHRM website.

Is vaping considered smoking? Is vaping thought of as a tobacco product?

In the U.S., e-cigarettes are included in the category of “tobacco product” and are subject to Food and Drug Administration regulation alongside cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products. For more information see “The Facts on the FDA’s New Tobacco Rule.”

How do employers handle e-cigarettes/vaping? Do they include that in their tobacco use policy?

Many employers include e-cigarettes/vaping as part of their smoke- and tobacco-free policies. This means e-cigarettes/vaping are prohibited anywhere cigarettes, cigars, and pipes would be prohibited.

Most tobacco cessation programs, including the EX Program, also help e-cigarette users quit if they want to do so.

Please explain again about the menthol ban. Does that mean tobacco with menthol will NOT be sold in specific cities and counties?

Very few places in the U.S. ban the sale of menthol-flavored tobacco products. San Francisco was the first city to ban all menthol-flavored products, including cigarettes. See “What a Ban on Flavored Tobacco Means for Your Quit-smoking Program” to learn more.

Other locations in the country are considering passing similar laws and ordinances, but as of today, none have gone into effect yet. For more information on menthol facts and policies, see “Menthol: Facts, Stats and Regulations” on Truth Initiative’s site.

Do employers need a specific policy for flavored tobacco?

Any flavored combustible tobacco would be included in an existing smoke-free policy.

If a worksite is already subject to a smoke-free or tobacco-free policy, and that policy includes e-cigarettes or vaping, then no additional policy specific to flavored tobacco is needed. If your worksite smoke-free policy does not include e-cigarettes, we encourage you to consider including e-cigarettes (most of which are flavored) in a smoke-free policy.

Do you find including spouses to participate in cessation programs helps with success rates?

We always encourage employers to offer a cessation program to employees and their adult dependents (spouses, partners, and other adults in the home). Why? Because employees with other smokers in the home are less likely to quit.

It is easier to quit when everyone in a household quits. And it is much easier for everyone in a household to quit when they have help from a proven cessation program, such as the EX Program.

When employers make the EX Program available to all employees and adult dependents, those who are interested can quit, and fully support others in their household to quit as well.

Interested in learning more about how the EX Program helps tobacco users quit for good? Please visit our program page.


Jessie Saul, Ph.D.

Client Success Director

Jessie brings 20+ years of experience in program evaluation and strategic planning with tobacco cessation. She applies this deep understanding to help clients improve program performance and reduce tobacco use among populations. She earned her Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University.