Survey of Employers Reveals Their Barriers to Supporting Tobacco-Control Programs

Encouraging employer support for tobacco control and prevention policies

Partnership for Prevention, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that supports activities to prevent disease and promote health, surveyed 2,180 private- and public-sector employers and conducted four focus groups to explore workplace tobacco-cessation policies and practices.

Key Findings

Amond the survey and focus group findings:

  • Employer support for tobacco control and prevention programs remains low. Less than 25 percent of employers covered tobacco-cessation services in their health plans, and even fewer provided services at their worksites.

  • Employers identified these barriers, among others, to implementing tobacco control programs: high cost, absence of return-on-investment information, interference with work time and concern about intruding into employee's lives.

  • In order to expand tobacco-cessation programs, employers say they need models of successful programs, return-on-investment data, marketing and communications kits, educational materials for employees, and programs provided by health plans and pharmaceutical companies.