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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
 
BMJ. 2007 April 28; 334(7599): 871.
PMCID: PMC1857796

NICE tells employers how to help staff quit smoking

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has launched guidance to help people stop smoking before the 1 July deadline for smoke-free workplaces in England.

This is the first guidance that NICE has published for a non-clinical audience. It outlines what employers should do to help employees who want to stop smoking and explains the benefits to both employers and employees.

Smoking costs the NHS an estimated £1.5bn (€2.2bn; $3bn) a year and costs industry an estimated £5bn in lost productivity, absenteeism, and fire damage. The guidance from NICE includes a ready reckoner so that employers can calculate exactly how much money they could save by encouraging employees to quit smoking and allowing them to go to stop smoking clinics in working hours without loss of pay.

The guidance recommends that employers develop a policy with employees on what support should be given at work and how it will operate. Organisations that offer stop smoking services, including the NHS and independent sector providers, should tailor their services to employees' needs by offering locations and schedules to suit them.

NHS stop smoking services should offer support to employers who want to help their employees to stop smoking, offering to give support on the employer's premises if appropriate, says the guidance. Small and medium sized companies, those with a high proportion of heavy smokers, and those with a high proportion of employees from disadvantaged backgrounds should be prioritised.

Notes

The guidance is at www.nice.org.uk.


Articles from The BMJ are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group