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Workplace smoking bans reduce both smoking prevalence and smoking intensity. Workplace-based cessation programs constitute a good investment for employers. Including bupropion and varenicline in a workplace cessation program is cost-effective.



Workplace smoking bans reduce both smoking prevalence among adults and smoking intensity among those who continue to smoke. Workplace smoking bans in the US reduced smoking prevalence among adults by 5 percentage points while reducing cigarette consumption among continuing smokers by 10%. Smoke-free workplace policies were most effective when strong social norms against smoking helped to self-enforce these policies. The benefits of smoke free policies at work include lower insurance costs, increased productivity, lower hiring costs due to higher labor force longevity, lower building maintenance costs, and savings due to reduced employers' liabilities for the effect of second-hand smoke exposure on workers.

Workplace-based cessation programs constitute a good investment for employers. A workplace-based cessation program in the US that consisted of two weekly meetings for a period of four weeks led to a company realizing savings in health-care costs and absenteeism, and to reductions in workplace inefficiencies. The program cost US$600 for 20 people, in addition to 12 hours of time-off for attendees. The net present value of benefits for the company was between US$2,702 and US$27,989. Another workplace smoking cessation program in the US covered bupropion and found that every US$1 spent on the program saved $5.04 to $6.48 in smoking-related health-care costs. This compares favorably to savings of between $4.10 and $4.69 for every dollar spent on workplace programs without bupropion coverage.



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Halpern M, Khan Z, Young T, Battista C. Economic model of sustained-release bupropion hydrochloride in health plan and work site smoking-cessation programs. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2000; 57(15): 1421-1429

Fichtenberg CM. Glantz SA
. Effect of smoke-free workplaces on smoking behavior: systematic review. BMJ. 2002; 325: 188-191.

Longo DR, Johnson JC, Kruse RL, Brownson RC, Hewett JE, Everett KD. A prospective investigation of the impact of smoking bans on tobacco cessation and relapse. Acad Health Serv Res Health Policy Meet. 2002; 19: 8.

Ross H. Economics of smoke free policies. In Lifting the smokescreen: 10 reasons for going smokefree. Smoke Free Partnership, March 2006.

IARC
. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Smoke-free Policies, IARC Handbook of Cancer Prevention, Volume 13, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, 2009.

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