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How the Benefits of Tobacco Cessation Extend Beyond Employees

How the Benefits of Tobacco Cessation Extend Beyond Employees

When it comes to the benefits of tobacco cessation, employees and employers aren’t the only ones with something to gain.

As an employer thinking about 2022 benefits, you want employees to have a proven solution for changing tobacco use, but what about their family members? It tends to be an unwritten rule that support should be limited only to those on the payroll, but the fact is the effects of tobacco use go far beyond your employee pool.

You may believe it’s not your responsibility to help family members quit smoking. This type of thinking, however, is short-sighted. Similar to issues like stress, conflict, and caregiver burnout, what happens at home simply doesn’t stay there.

Watch this short video for more insight into the benefits of extending tobacco cessation to employee family members. To see the entire 30-minute webinar, visit 4 Rules to Break to Impact Addiction in the Workplace.

Benefits of tobacco cessation for employees and families

We see these struggles day in and day out in our EX Community and here is just a small sample of comments from real members:

“My husband smokes. He has been smoking for most of his life. He says he wants to quit, but I cannot wait until he is ready. I am taking responsibility for me, but I do need some guidance. Any suggestions on how to power my way through? It will be tricky to navigate.” –EX Community memberHelp spouse quit tobacco

help spouse quit smoking

One of the most notable difficulties when it comes to quitting can be seeing a partner light up, and having cigarettes close at hand for the employee to relapse.

Some key facts to consider:

• Partner smoking predicts employee smoking: Of smokers in romantic relationships, over 80% are partnered with another smoker

• Smokers partnered with another smoker are less likely to try to quit and more likely to relapse—which means your employee-centered tobacco cessation program has a significantly lower chance of success

• Smokers partnered with another smoker are less likely to try to quit and more likely to relapse—which means your employee-centered tobacco cessation program has a significantly lower chance of success

The reality is that if you really want to help your employees quit, the best approach is to make a tobacco cessation program available to spouses and adult dependents as well.

Plus, you may also want to think about offering your tobacco cessation program more broadly to support working parents, too.

A Truth Initiative report found that 2/3 of parents are very or extremely concerned about their teens and young adult children being negatively affected by vaping, and this can translate into being less productive at work.

Consider these stats from research published in a 2020 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine—led by Chief of Innovations Amanda Graham, PhD.

Among parents who reported their child was vaping: 43% felt anxious or worried about it during the workday, 35% reported difficulty focusing on work, 29% said they are less productive, 27% missed work as a consequence

Because of these data, we provide tailored support through the EX Program to parents who are struggling to help a child quit vaping.

Say yes to spouses and adult dependents

When tobacco cessation programs are only offered to tobacco users themselves, they miss important influencers on employee health, namely, employee families.

To truly reap the benefits of tobacco cessation at your company, we recommend:

  • Extending cessation support to spouses and adult dependents
  • Extending incentives/surcharges to spouses and partners to quit
  • Providing support to parents of kids who vape

And that’s where the EX Program comes in.

Developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, the EX Program comes from America’s largest public health non-profit, dedicated to making tobacco use a thing of the past—not just for your employees, but for everyone around them, too.

To learn more about the EX Program and the support we provide to employees, spouses/partners, and adult dependents, please visit our Program page.


Margaret LaPlante
Margaret LaPlante

EX Coach Lead

Margaret collaborates with the live chat team to ensure protocols are always current and research based. She trains the EX Coaches to get participants the help and medication support they need for a successful quit. Margaret has been delivering tobacco cessation coaching since 2004, helping others get the personalized help they need.