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Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Spotlights the Importance of Tobacco Free Worksite Policies

March 02, 2021

Alachua County, Fla. – With employees increasingly returning to brick-and-mortar offices, now is a great time to evaluate your organization’s smokefree policy to protect the wellbeing of your employees. Maintaining a smokefree policy prevents employees and visitors from secondhand smoke exposure, which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

Does your smokefree policy cover these recommendations?

  • Includes indoor and outdoor property with no exceptions
  • Includes all forms of tobacco and nicotine products (example: e-cigarettes)
  • Includes all work vehicles

In addition to implementing a smokefree policy, having cessation resources available is important to promote quitting amongst employees. This is beneficial to your business as recent studies of the private sector have suggested that employees who smoke cost businesses, on average, more than $6,000 per year due to increased healthcare costs and productivity loss. Along with cutting costs, you will be creating an environment that promotes cessation and protects your employee’s health. This is even more important during these times as according to the CDC, being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

So where do you start?

Contact the Alachua County Health Department-Tobacco Prevention Office at (352)334-7914 for assistance. You will be provided with:

  • An evaluation of your current tobacco policy and step by step directions for strengthening your policy
  • Support and technical assistance from health department staff
  • Complimentary communication materials such as signage and printed cessation materials.

About Tobacco Free Florida

The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 234,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla