May 31 celebrates World No Tobacco Day, created to draw attention to the dangers of tobacco use. In recognition of the day and our efforts at creating healthy lifestyles here at Infinite Energy, we sat down for a brief Q&A with our own benefits and insurance administrator Lisa T.
Can you tell us more about World No Tobacco Day and why it’s a good thing?
Every year, the World Health Organization encourages celebrating it as a tobacco free day to help bring awareness to the health risks associated with tobacco use. This year, their focus is “Tobacco & Heart Disease.” It highlights that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and that it’s a major risk factor for developing CVD, a fact that isn’t widely known.
How does Infinite Energy help employees who are trying to kick the habit?
- We provide onsite tobacco cessation groups during lunchtime where we provide free nicotine patches, gum/lozenges, counseling and free lunch. These meetings are open to roommates and spouses, as well. It’s so hard for a person to quit if members of the household are still using tobacco products like cigarettes.
- We also provide free nicotine gum to support employees who wish to participate in the Great American Smokeout (GASO) and World No Tobacco Day observances at work.
- All FDA recommended medications are available at no cost share through our health insurance.
Have you seen positive effects from Infinite’s efforts?
Absolutely! One of the hardest things to get from some companies is the leadership’s investment in offering these types of programs to employees. The other hard part is getting tobacco users to buy in. These employees don’t want to just focus on the health effects. They want help with cessation—handling withdrawal symptoms, triggers and changing their mindset.
At Infinite, we have both! Tobacco cessation is an integral part of our wellness program. And several of our employees have kicked the habit permanently. And they’ve gone on to be ambassadors for being tobacco free.
Although some have relapsed, most have come back to give it another go. It can take up to seven quit attempts to be successful, and we’re here to support them. And it’s awesome. Instead of throngs of smokers gathered in special areas of the parking lot, we now have groups that go for walks on breaks. What a change!
Why does Infinite Energy place so much emphasis on employees being as healthy as possible?
Because having happy, healthy employees helps the company AND the individual. It’s a win-win!
One of the hardest concepts for many to grasp is that nicotine addiction is like any other and needs to be treated as such. And that means tobacco users need as much support as possible to kick the habit. Our employees—like those at most workplaces—spend the majority of their waking hours here. So, the fact that we’re here to support them makes a huge difference in their success at quitting nicotine.
And that helps Infinite Energy, too. Just one employee kicking the habit can save thousands of dollars for a company each year. Productivity goes up. Healthcare costs go down.
To learn more about Infinite Energy’s commitment to employee wellness, visit our careers page.