News and Events

The Importance of Creating Comprehensive Tobacco-free Worksite Policies
By Tracy DeCubellis
December 11, 2019

It is no secret that tobacco use is harmful. Despite our knowledge of the multitude of carcinogens and toxins in tobacco, people still use it during work hours. According to the Center for Disease Control, tobacco use in the workplace accounts for the most lost worker productivity compared to other causes such as family emergencies or alcohol abuse (1).

Tobacco use and recreational nicotine use via e-cigarettes at work can cost employers money. The loss of productivity for a business with smokers is estimated to cost $4,056 in productivity and $2,056 in medical costs per year (2).

Businesses that create tobacco-free campus policies protect the health and wellbeing of employees. This type of campus-wide policy may encourage employees who use tobacco to quit the habit, especially if the campus tobacco-free policy includes cessation help for those who currently use tobacco or recreational nicotine products like e-cigarettes. This is important because statewide, of the 15.8% of adults who currently smoke, 64.9% of them have tried to stop in the last year (3).

A worksite wellness trend in the U.S. is companies providing expanded services for employee wellness programs. In fact, recent studies show that 74% of businesses are considering increasing programs (4). Seventy percent of employers who have established wellness programs found them to be cost-effective (5). The Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County is partnering with local businesses in their efforts to expand wellness programs and assisting with tobacco-free worksite policies.

Each owner or manager of a business or community organization can take a step to improve the health of employees and boost their bottom-line through tobacco-free policies. For more information or for help in creating a tobacco-free campus policy, please contact Kyleigh Savoie at


  1. Centers for Disease Control. (n.d.). Implementing a tobacco-free campus initiative in your workplace. Retrieved from
  2. Berman M, Crane R, Seiber E, et al. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee
    Tobacco Control Published Online First: 03 June 2013. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050888
  3. Florida Department of Health. (2015). Florida Behavioral Risk Factor Data. Retrieved from
  4. Attridge, M. (n.d.). EAP integration with worksite wellness programs. Retrieved from
  5. Ibid.