Companies today are increasingly looking for ways to cut expenses and improve profit margins. Among their greatest expenses are fringe benefit costs associated with employee health care.
As such, many are looking at how the lifestyle habits of their employees – such as smoking – are affecting their bottom line.
Medical care and lost productivity cost employers about $3,856 per smoker per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Men who smoke pay $15,800 more for medical care over their lifetimes and miss four workdays more per year than nonsmoking men; female smokers shell out $17,500 more in lifetime medical expenses and miss two days more from work than women who do not smoke, according to the CDC.
Some companies refuse to hire smokers or demand that their employees quit smoking or lose their jobs. Others are setting policies restricting smoking on or around company property and offering bonuses or other incentives for employees to quit smoking.
For those who want to quit but have failed with various cessation methods, one company says it has a unique solution that may help them kick the habit for good.
Safer Smokes Inc. offers a smoke called Bravo that has all of the characteristics of a tobacco cigarette with three key differences: no nicotine, no tobacco and none of the dangerous carcinogens derived from the additives found in commercial tobacco cigarettes. In lieu of tobacco, Bravo smokes are made with enzyme-treated lettuce leaves.
“You give up the nicotine and harmful tobacco without having to give up the physical behavior of smoking,” said Dr. Puzant Torigian, chairman and founder of Safer Smokes. “Once the nicotine leaves your system, the urge to smoke leaves you as well, and you smoke your way out of the habit just like you smoked your way into it.”
“For smokers challenged to quit the habit or quit the job, the key is to find a cessation strategy that works for them,” Torigian said. “Of all the choices on the market, Bravo is the only product available today that lets you quit the nicotine and tobacco habit immediately while you smoke your way out of the habit gradually.”