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Smoking out employees Featured

12:42pm EDT February 26, 2002
Are employers doing everything they can to help employees stop smoking?

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, Toledo and Cleveland top the list of U.S. cities with the highest percentage of adult smokers. Another study, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that Ohio has the fifth highest percentage of smokers among the 50 states; more than one-fourth of the population smokes.

Jennifer Franklin M.Ed., wellness and prevention specialist at the Arthur C. James and Richard J. Solove Cancer Institute at The Ohio State University, says employers need to offer more than just smoking cessation programs.

"Employers should offer support along with programs," says Franklin. "Programs should be accredited, and if the employer can pick up part of the tab, it really helps."

But he says employees should also pay part of the tab, as a way to buy into the program.

A program needs to address both the physical and mental sides of addiction.

"Smoking becomes part of a person's routine," says Franklin. "The smoker needs to have a plan for what he or she will do in place of smoking when smoke break time comes around."

Franklin says the combined success rate for all types of smoking cessation programs or aids is 30 percent. How to reach: The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, 293-3737