Businesses no longer can afford employees who smoke

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:33 pm

Cigarette smoking and working don’t mix. It’s well known that smoking is dangerous, both in terms of its effect on health and the resulting health care costs. Think about it.
According to a report entitled "The Burden of Tobacco in Wisconsin," more than 7,300 Wisconsin residents died from smoking-related diseases in the year 2000. The report estimates that smoking has cost the state almost $1.6 billion in health care costs.
Wisconsin businesspeople should take note of this fact: There was an additional $1.4 billion in productivity costs because of illness and premature death from smoking-related diseases.
Nationwide, tobacco kills more than 400,000 citizens each year – more than alcohol, illegal drugs, homicide, suicide, fire and AIDS combined.
Smoking’s annual national health care cost is an estimated at a staggering $72 billion per year, according to health economists at the University of California.
As you can see, businesses can’t afford to ignore the health and economic toll of cigarette smoking any longer. To further prove this point, approximately 95,000 years of life were lost from the predicted lifespan of those victims of smoking; that’s based on the total number of deaths and smoking rates in our state.
It’s estimated that 81 percent of all lung cancer deaths are attributable to smoking. And, according to "The Burden of Tobacco in Wisconsin," 15 percent of all deaths from heart disease, the state’s leading cause of death, were also attributable to smoking.
Smoking’s economic impact can be felt in transactional costs in the workplace. Frequent illnesses and absenteeism are the results of smoking tobacco. Smoking, as mentioned, lowers productivity at the workplace. Smokers typically take more breaks and frequently think about puffing on their next cigarette instead of focusing completely on their work.
It makes great sense to help your employees beat the smoking habit. You’ll reduce your insurance premiums and health care costs. You’ll have healthier, more productive employees who will make a positive impact on your bottom line.
But if you’ve ever tried to kick the smoking habit yourself, you know how difficult that can be. We’ve found that acupuncture treatment is an effective way of doing it.
According to the National Institute of Health, acupuncture has been proven effective in stopping smoking, eliminating cravings to smoke and stopping withdrawal symptoms associated with the cessation of smoking. Our experiences with our patients verifies that fact.
Acupuncture guides the movement of the body’s vital energies and positively influences the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. An acupuncture treatment does not work by simply taking away nicotine cravings or by mitigating the side effects of withdrawal.
Instead, the acupuncture treatment teaches the patient’s body how to overcome these symptoms on its own. For this reason, people who overcome a tobacco addiction with the help of acupuncture often will emerge stronger than they were before becoming dependent in the first place.
A person who has been free all his or her life cannot possibly appreciate freedom the way a liberated nicotine slave can.

Dr. Arthur Rapkin, an acupuncturist and director of the Kindo Integrated Health Centers in Shorewood and Elm Grove, designed his Freedom From Smoking program. He has been utilizing acupuncture in his practice for the past 20 years and serves on acupuncture boards and advisory committees for the state of Wisconsin and national health organizations. More information can be obtained by contacting him at the Kindo Integrated Health Center at (262) 827-4000.

June 10, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display