News and Events

Local Employers Benefit from Adoption of Tobacco Free Workplace Policies
November 16, 2017

Highlands County, Florida – Several local workplaces are making big strides in supporting the health and well-being of their employees by adopting tobacco free workplaces.

For example, Highlands Regional Medical Center adopted a comprehensive tobacco free workplace policy, supporting their employees’ efforts to quit smoking, enhancing their current wellness policies and updating insurance benefits that include money saving incentives to non-nicotine users.

The tobacco free policy includes the hospital grounds. Current employees are able to take free cessation classes through the free Quit Your Way program offered by Tobacco Free Florida and enjoy the benefits of a tobacco free lifestyle.

Additionally, for those businesses that do not offer insurance to employees, there are multiple other avenues to explore while creating policy within the workplace. Many small businesses throughout the county have also adopted tobacco free work site policies that include no-smoking in company vehicles, tobacco free grounds and promoting Quit Your Way to their employees.

The free Quit Your Way program allows employees to call, go online, or even attend face-to-face cessation classes, many of which have been hosted at their places of employment in order to support tobacco cessation efforts.

One of the primary reasons an employer chooses to adopt a tobacco free workplace is the high cost associated with tobacco use at work.  Pack-a-day smokers are estimated to have 75% more lost productive time during the work day than their non-smoking co-workers, and healthcare costs are an average of 34% higher than those who do not use tobacco (Estimating the cost of a smoking employee, 2013). In Florida, the average loss in productivity annually for a tobacco user at the workplace is $4,056.  The average extra medical expense for tobacco users is $2,056 (Estimating the cost of a smoking employee, 2013).

Tobacco Free Grounds policies also support employees in their attempts to quit, helping them to change their habits and avoid temptations to smoke.

For more information about adopting a tobacco free workplace, visit or contact Amanda John at  To learn more about the Quit Your Way program, visit

Berman M., Crane R., Seiber E., & Munur M. (2013). Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. Tobacco Control. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050888