Despite its many — and well-documented — detrimental health effects, 19% of all adults (18 years old or older) in the United States smoke. That’s about 43.8 million people.1 And the total annual economic burden of smoking, including health care expenditures and productivity losses, is approximately $193 billion per year.2
In 2013 the Centers for Disease Control estimated that employers will incur an additional $6,000 in annual costs for each employee who smokes compared with employees who do not.
UPMC WorkPartners’ tobacco cessation programs provide multiple treatment options focused on motivating people to replace tobacco use with permanent, healthier lifestyle choices. Our programs support employees looking to kick the tobacco habit. As employees let go of their old habits and begin experiencing the many benefits of a tobacco-free life, they’ll be healthier and more productive. Our programs and services include:
MyHealth Ready to QuitTM. Tobacco cessation program that provides guidance, treatment options, and motivational support for employees who want to quit tobacco and live a tobacco-free lifestyle.
MyHealth tobacco cessation campaigns. Worksite tobacco cessation mini campaigns that provide marketing and support materials, educational presentations, and incentives for members to cover tobacco cessation medications.
Coach on CallTM. Health coaching via phone for tips on quitting tobacco.
Self-directed programs. Online or workbook-based tobacco cessation programs with health coach telephone support.
Our programs align environmental policies, robust tobacco cessation programming, and tobacco cessation incentive campaigns to effectively reduce the prevalence of tobacco use within employee populations. Employers gain a workforce with improved health — as well as lower risk for chronic conditions that reduce employee quality of life, productivity, and attendance.
- Individuals who participate in a program such as the MyHealth Ready to Quit program and properly use a tobacco cessation medication are six times more likely to quit than those who try to quit tobacco on their own.
- The odds of quitting for those who completed the MyHealth Ready to Quit program were 12.6 times that of a member who did not complete the program.
How One Member Quit Tobacco
Annie Hull wanted nothing more than to kick her 25-year smoking habit. The smoking-related death of her mother gave her the motivation she needed. Working with a UPMC health coach, Annie decided to give quitting one more try. “I knew I couldn’t do it myself. I figured I should use a health coach,” she said.
With the help of her health coach, Annie quit smoking on November 1 — what would have been her mother’s birthday. She used medication to ease into the transition and leaned heavily on her health coach for moral support. Over time Annie noticed improvement in her breathing and realized that nagging colds didn’t bother her as much. “When I caught that cough that was going around last month, I was discouraged, until I realized it would have been 10 times worse if I were still smoking.”
Annie now has peace of mind from knowing that she took the proper steps to ensure she’ll be around longer for her kids. “My kids are so excited for me. I just feel very natural not smoking now.”