|Sarasota, Fla. — On average, people spend more time at work than anywhere else. 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 and healthful worksite. They 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.1,2,3 In addition to these benefits, with the ongoing rise in e-cigarette use and vaping-related illnesses, updating tobacco free worksite policies is of vital importance to protecting employee health. The Healthy Sarasota County Worksite program- which is administered through the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County- designates employers who are carrying out health promotion actions endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proven to improve the health and well-being of their employees. A major component of these health promotion actions is tobacco control.
Twenty-one worksites in Sarasota County have been awarded the Healthy Sarasota County Worksite designation, many of which have tobacco free worksite policies.
Through the Healthy Sarasota County Worksite Initiative, no-cost wellness consultations and resources are provided. If interested in becoming a Healthy Sarasota County Worksite or passing a tobacco free worksite policy, more information and an application can be found at www.HealthySarasota.com.
There is no better time than now to consider updating your tobacco worksite policies. Please call 941-861-2969 to begin. For those looking to quit smoking, Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services at www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway. About the Florida Department of HealthThe 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 254,000 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.[i] 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/TobaccoFreeFloridaor on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla. 1. “Tobacco-Free Worksites.” Healthysarasota.com, 2019, healthysarasota.com/worksites-tobacco-free.htm.2. “Planning & Implementing a Tobacco-Free Policy in the Workplace.” (2012). Sarasota, FL. Healthy Sarasota County Workplaces. 3. 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.