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Tobacco-Free Toolkit Helps Businesses Increase Their Bottom Lines
Date:3/10/2009

WASHINGTON, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Businesses looking for ways to rescue their bottom lines and protect the health of their employees and their families can pick up some valuable tips from a new "toolkit" that shows them how to lower their costs by reducing the use of tobacco in the workplace through personal behavior change, health benefit design, and sensible workplace policies.

The kit, entitled "Investing in A Tobacco-Free Future: How it Benefits Your Bottom Line & Community," was produced by Partnership for Prevention and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, with funding from the United Health Foundation. It is being mailed this week to every FORTUNE 500 company in America, and it can be accessed online at www.prevent.org/tobaccofreefuture .

Smoking-related illness results in almost $100 billion in health care costs each year, while smokers on average are absent from work seven to 10 more days per year than non-smokers. As the toolkit points out, businesses also incur sizable tobacco-related costs not related to health. Commercial cigarette fires cause about $500 million in damages and kill 2,000 people each year, while cleaning costs associated with smoking in the workplace total about $4 billion per year.

"Businesses can benefit by understanding the serious impact of tobacco and, by implementing programs and policies to help create a healthier community, they can achieve serious gains for maximum return," said Corrine G. Husten, MD, MPH, Partnership for Prevention's interim president.

The toolkit shows employers how they can support tobacco control "inside the walls" of their businesses by establishing a model workplace tobacco control program. The model program includes a set of policies, benefits and programs that will encourage employees not to use tobacco in
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SOURCE Partnership for Prevention
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