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When employees smoke, who bears the cost? When they quit - who wins?

The problem quantified in dollars

$6000 according to  a study by is spread across employers, payers and in some cases the employees themselves. The CDC estimates the total cost close to a $100 billion dollars in direct medical costs. The health care system experiences the impacts of smoking with higher incidence of disease and death in the smoking population. The brunt of the expenses go to pay for care associated with cancer, cardio vascular disease and other chronic respiratory illnesses.

 

Employers, see the elevated cost of premiums as well as the impact of absenteeism that results from smoking breaks and sick days. This is where the $6000 per employee comes in. The common response to this cost from employers range from polices to not hire smokers to programs designed for cessation.

 

 There are no laws that protect smokers as a discriminated community. But the choice to quit is incentivized by public health programs, insurers and employers.

 

The population impacted - the many facets of the challenge

The good news is from 2005 to 2015, the percentage of Americans who smoke declined from 20% to 15%. This does show that policies, programs and incentives are working. Just not at a very aggressive pace. According to the CDC, Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or 1 of every 5 deaths. In 2015, about 15 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (15.1%) currently* smoked cigarettes. This means an estimated 36.5 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes. More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.

 

When breaking out the distribution behind the who -

By Gender - Men were more likely to be current cigarette smokers than women.

By Age - Current cigarette smoking was higher among persons aged 18–24 years, 25–44 years, and 45–64 years than among those aged 65 years and older

By Race/Ethnicity - Current cigarette smoking was highest among non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives and people of multiple races and lowest among Asians.

By Education - Current cigarette smoking was highest among persons with a graduate education degree certificate (GED) and lowest among those with a graduate degree.

By Poverty Status - Current cigarette smoking was higher among persons living below the poverty* level than those living at or above this level.

By Disability/Limitation - Current cigarette smoking was higher among persons with a disability/limitation than among those with no disability/limitation.

 

The answer:  In order to move the needle at a impactful speed, the programs need to be accessible, affordable and meaningful. The population within the corporate construct have a wider pool of options to choose from. Those who are employed by small businesses or are self employed are exposed to less options. Finally, those who are unemployed have really limited options to opt in to. The one common access point to all is their primary care access. Everyone who has the ability and access to a primary care physician is able to be influence at that one annual touch to explore options. The easier, and simpler the option, the greater the chances of someone giving it a shot.

 

 This is what Ayuvia's program and premise is based on. A simple selection into alternative modalities. With promising results and low costs. Learn more at www.ayuvia.com

The win belongs to everyone impacted by the costs and most importantly to the individual who feels and functions better after quitting.

 

Reference Sources: Forbes | NBC News | Cell Being | CDC

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