Tobacco Cessation

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Canada.1 In Alberta, more than 3,000 individuals die of tobacco-related illnesses every year. In 2015, 16% of Alberta’s workers smoked.2 Of those who smoked 64% were seriously considering quitting in the next 6 months.2

Providing a workplace environment that prevents tobacco use and supports employees to quit benefits everyone. Studies measuring the return on investing in workplace tobacco reduction programs show between 39% and 60% return on their original investment after 10 years.3 Health concerns from tobacco use are not limited to people who smoke, non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk of many of the same health conditions as those who smoke. Regular exposure to second-hand smoke increases risk of lung cancer and heart disease.4 Almost 18% of Alberta workers were exposed to second-hand smoke every day or almost every day in 2015.2 Effective workplace policy and programs to reduce smoking rates can increase positive health outcomes for those who smoke and those who don’t include: improvements in employee health and job satisfaction, increased productivity, reduced facility costs, reduced absenteeism and enhanced corporate image.1, 5


For ideas on how to support your employees to quit and how you can create a smoke free environment in your workplace check out our Tobacco Reduction Toolkit

  1. Health Canada. Smoking cessation in the workplace: A guide to helping your employees quit smoking. Ottawa (ON): Health Canada; 2009. Available from:
  2. Statistics Canada. Canadian Tobacco Alcohol and Drug Survey. Using Nesstar. Ottawa (ON): Statistics Canada; 2015.
  3. Rehm J, Baliunas S, Brochu S, Fischer B, Gnam W. Patra J, Popova S, Sarnocinska-Hart A, Taylor B. The costs of substance abuse in Canada 2002. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. 2006.
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How tobacco smoke causes disease: The biology and behavioral basis for smoking attributable disease: A report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2010.
  5. Region of Waterloo Public Health. Tobacco-free living: What works at Work! Waterloo (ON): Region of Waterloo Public Health, Project Health; 2013. Available from:

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