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Quit courses an answer for smoke break tension

Thursday 23 October, 2003

Employers are being urged to help workers who smoke to quit, by running quitting courses, following the release of a survey that shows smoke breaks are a source of annoyance in the workplace.

Quit Victoria Executive Director Todd Harper says while the results of the study show smoke breaks can be a source of tension, understanding on both sides can achieve good outcomes.

""Non-smokers need to remember that nicotine is extremely addictive, and while research shows that most smokers want to quit and many have tried, it can be hard for some smokers.""

""Most smokers wish they weren't smoking, and employers need to understand the benefits of supporting smokers to quit.""

""Reducing the number of people smoking has benefits for productivity and reduced absenteeism, and ultimately, a more harmonious working environment.""

""We are seeing an increasing interest from employers in running quit courses at work for staff, as they recognise the productivity benefits of helping employees to quit.""

""We'd certainly be urging more workplaces to look at this kind of option.""

Mr Harper says the best outcomes are achieved when workplaces find a solution that takes into account specific needs.

""A 'one size fits all’ solution is not the answer to this issue, and we’ve seen a range of different approaches adopted.""

""Some workplaces for example already have systems in place where smokers take smoke breaks in their own time, while other workplaces may allocate specific times for smoke breaks""

""It’s important for smokers and non-smokers to work together to achieve the best outcome for their individual workplace.""

Mr Harper also said comprehensive smokefree workplace legislation is needed.

""We know many workplaces are smokefree, but not all. In Victoria, recent research by The Cancer Council Victoria found that around 30% of workplaces do not have comprehensive smoke bans.""

""Clearly it’s better for the health of all staff if workplaces are smokefree - this creates a healthier environment, and can also benefit those smokers who are trying to quit.""

Further information:
Zoe Furman
Media Communications Manager

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