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New practical guide promotes Smokefree workplaces

New practical guide to achieve Smokefree workplaces

The London Tobacco Alliance and Stop Smoking London have launched a new tool to help employers create smokefree workplace environments.

Smokefree at Work London is a practical guide for bosses in the construction, hospitality and retail industries – three sectors in which workers are more likely to smoke than those in other professions.

The guide contains easy to implement advice and support to help workers quit nicotine, and useful insights on the impact of tobacco on the local economy and on smokers’ finances. It also signposts employers and staff to useful sources of stop smoking support, and provides guidance for managers on delivering Very Brief Advice to smokers – an educational tool designed by the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT).

By training managers, mental health first aiders and wellbeing staff on how to effectively deliver Very Brief Advice to smokers, employers can create a culture where quitting smoking becomes more attainable for members of their workforce. Very Brief Advice training is free and available online at

Latest figures indicate that the creation of smokefree workplaces will not only improve workers’ health and wellbeing, it will also boost the productivity of London’s workforce. Studies show that smokers are 33% more likely to miss work than non-smokers, and are taking more breaks when in the workplace. This is having a huge impact on corporate productivity, resulting in a £2.5 billion hit to London’s economy annually.

Tracy Parr, Programme Director for the London Tobacco Alliance and Stop Smoking London, said:

“Smokefree at Work London is designed to help employers create smokefree workplaces and provide more effective support for staff who want to be free of tobacco dependence.

Tobacco kills one in two of its long-term users, with smokers dying 10 years prematurely on average. It has a massive impact on individual and community health and wellbeing.

“This also takes a huge toll on the productivity of individual organisations and the strength of the London economy. Employers are well placed to take action to support staff to quit. Many may be unsure how to do so. They may not know how to speak to staff about smoking, the best way to quit or where to refer them for support.

“Smokers are three times as likely to quit by combining stop smoking tools and behavioural support than through willpower alone.

“The approach outlined in Smokefree at Work London guides employers through a simple process to create a workplace culture that promotes stopping smoking and makes it easier for staff to do so.”

Louise Ross, clinical consultant at the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and training said:

“This is a fantastically well-produced guide for employers and I strongly encourage any management team to take the recommendations on board. Helping your workforce to go smokefree makes sound business sense and has a beneficial effect on the rest of your employees’ families as well. Your workers will welcome the support, because most people actually want to stop smoking.”

To access the Smoke Free at Work London guide, visit

Smokers in London who are determined to quit are urged to visit the Stop Smoking London website at and contact the confidential helpline on 0300 123 1044 to receive free, personalised, one-to-one support in their journey towards a life free of tobacco dependence.

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