According to the NHS, if you can make it to 28 days smoke-free, you’re 5 times more likely to quit for good.
In this article, we’ll look at:
- What Stoptober is
- How you can support your employees with quitting
- How your employee benefits package can help
What is Stoptober?
Stoptober is a campaign launched in 2012 aiming to inspire smokers to make an attempt to quit from 1st of October and maintain it for at least 28 days.
Since 2012, Stoptober has driven over 2.3 million quit attempts.
Stoptober is now part of the NHS’ Better Health Initiative which includes support in losing weight, getting active and cutting down on drinking.
Whilst Stoptober has always proved popular, the sign-up rate has lessened over the pandemic. However, the success of the initiative is clear so it’s important to keep it going.
You as an employer can help your employees through Stoptober and encourage more to want to sign up each year!
The great thing about the initiative is that because it’s ran the same time every year, it’s easy to remember to when it’s coming up.
You can plan your ideas in advance and get together a support package for employees.
Within your workplace, you can place posters and leaflets around to prompt employees. If you send out regular updates via email, then including information there too gives them the opportunity to read it at a convenient time. It also gives you the sender, the space to include links to resources to support staff further.
Having visual cues that include facts and tips can help your employees to further understand the effects of smoking and feel empowered to try and quit.
Some employees that are trying to quit will want to keep their journey private. However, others will want to talk about it, so they feel like they have a support system.
If employees make it known that they’re doing Stoptober or trying to quit in general, one of the best things you can provide for them is encouragement.
Kicking a habit can be a long and difficult process, particularly if someone has to look at the reasons behind forming the habit.
Doing so without support is more likely to make employees struggle when it gets hard and increases chances of them giving up their efforts.
Simple things like encouraging the employee and asking how it’s going can help them feel more supported and higher their chances of success.
This can also be done discreetly so that no extra pressure is put on them.
Throughout your employees’ journey to quitting, there will be ups and downs.
It’s important to be there when things are difficult but being there to celebrate your employees wins can help to keep them motivated too.
Congratulating them verbally or via an Ecard can help to boost their mood.
Whilst the big changes should only be done for themselves, getting compliments and comments about their progress will spur them on.
Giving employees space to talk
Whether employees are trying Stoptober to cut down on a habit or to tackle an addiction, the space to talk about their journey is key.
Whilst there’s not much you can do in terms of directly helping them quit or tackle their addiction, just knowing that they can come and speak to you about their struggles will ease some of the weight of their efforts.
A sounding board is useful for the employee too because by talking about their journey, they will be able to see their progress.
How employee benefits can support employees
Luckily as an employer, you have a great tool to help support employees. This is your employee benefits package.
You can use it to help support employees with the physical and mental effects of creating better habits. As this can often be a long journey.
Having a healthy living library on your employee platform can act as an education resource for employees and give them tips on quitting, plus giving them links to professional support should they need it. This can be useful as employees will always have it to refer to.
One of the things that come with stopping a habit or trying to break an addiction can be picking apart trauma that made them pick up the habit in the first place. This is undoubtedly hard to cope with and can bring up a lot of emotion.
If you have an employee assistance programme as part of your benefits package, then encouraging your employees to make use of the support available to them, will give you and them peace of mind that they are professionally supported throughout should they need it.
A person having a dedicated space to talk about their issues with a qualified professional can help them to focus on other things during their spare time.
For many, a way to spur employees on in their quitting effort is by understanding and seeing the health improvements happening along the way. Health Assessments can be a great help with seeing these changes because they can get comprehensive assessments of their health.
Another way that Health Assessments can help is that by getting regular assessments, employees will be able to see the effects of smoking on their body and this might kickstart their desire to quit.
Making the decision to quit smoking is never an easy one, but initiatives like Stoptober can help people to feel supported and encouraged enough to try. We spend a large majority of our time at work, so support from you as their employer can be a huge help.
Again, we must stress that with addictions, providing the employee with professional support options is better than trying to tackle it yourself.