Sarasota, Fla.– People spend more time at work than anywhere else and decisions and habits reinforced in a healthy worksite can transcend into other aspects of life.
One of the best ways that employers can improve the health of their employees is by passing a tobacco free worksite policy. Tobacco free worksites provide benefits to both employees and employers. Tobacco free worksite policies create a safe, healthful worksite, can inspire current smokers to quit, increases awareness of the risks of tobacco use, reduces direct health care costs over the long term, lowers the risk of fires, prolongs life and quality of office equipment, reduces waste and litter, and increases employee morale by convening that the worksite cares about employee health and the environment. (1,2)
With the ongoing rise in e-cigarette use, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County recently partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County to update the organization’s tobacco policy. The updated policy includes restrictions on electronic nicotine delivery systems, as well as expands the definition of tobacco use. The policy covers all Clubs, surrounding grounds, and organizational vehicles.
In addition to benefiting employees, this updated policy will also benefit youth that utilize the Clubs. The organization provides daily programs and services to thousands of children and youth in the community at six Club locations in Sarasota, Venice, North Port, and Arcadia. With such a large reach in the community, the updated policy is particularly important. As vaping and electronic nicotine usage has increased in Florida and across the country, employers updating policies to include such restrictions is of vital importance.
About the Florida Department of Health The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.
About Tobacco Free Florida The department’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 212,000 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. (3)
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.
- “Tobacco-Free Worksites.” Healthysarasota.com, 2019, healthysarasota.com/worksites-tobacco-free.htm.
- “Planning & Implementing a Tobacco-Free Policy in the Workplace.” (2012). Sarasota, FL. Healthy Sarasota County Workplaces.
- Mann, Nathan M, Nonnemaker, James M., Thompson, Jesse. “Smoking-Attributable Health Care Costs in Florida and Potential Health Care Cost Savings Associated with Reductions in Adult Smoking Prevalence.” 2016.