Missouri Offers Employers 'Tool Kit' to Help Make Worksites Smoke-free

A new "toolkit" of information to help employers in Missouri establish a smoke-free work environment is now available from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The tool kit includes information about the benefits of a smoke-free environment for employers and employees, policy implementation and tobacco-cessation resources.

The toolkit is available in PDF format at www.dhss.mo.gov/SmokingAndTobacco/EmployersToolkit.pdf.

"Tobacco use in the workplace creates serious health concerns, including heart disease, stroke and respiratory diseases, not only for employees who smoke but also nonsmoking workers who are exposed to the secondhand smoke" said Stan Cowan, manager of the health department's Tobacco Use Prevention Program. "Smoke-free workplace policies are the only effective way to eliminate this entirely preventable and unnecessary health risk."

Cowan stated that as more businesses adopt smoke-free policies, non-smokers are exposed to less secondhand smoke and more smokers are deciding to quit smoking. "Employers are beginning to realize that smoke-free workplace policies pay dividends in lower health care claims and increased productivity," he said.

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