smoking mortality workplace wellness

New Study Confirms Old Statistics: Smoking and Mortality Risk

Public knowledge around tobacco and smoking, clearly, has gone up in the last decades: Smoking is bad for you and has been shown to increase mortality risk.

Helping people quit smoking also is a key part of a well-run workplace wellness program.

We’ve reported that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes various health benefits that come from stopping smoking. And yet, as if to demonstrate how challenging quitting can be, even with this knowledge, “among all current U.S. adult cigarette smokers, nearly 7 out of every 10 (68.0%) reported in 2015 that they wanted to quit completely.”

Further, we previously published news about an online tool — created by the Center for Medicine and Public Health at Florida State University — that calculates what tobacco costs your business.

FSU offers recommendations to help employers “potentially reduce the negative health and economic effects of tobacco use.” Employers should:

  • Request or select health plans that cover all effective tobacco cessation treatments and allow employees to choose their preferred approach.
  • Educate all employees about the availability of tobacco cessation benefits and encourage employees to use the benefits.
  • Consider making their workplaces tobacco free.

Now a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) — titled “Association of Cigarette, Cigar, and Pipe Use With Mortality Risk in the US Population” — seeks to “investigate the mortality risks associated with current and former use of cigars, pipes, and cigarettes.” The reason: “Tobacco products have changed in recent years. Contemporary mortality risk estimates of combustible tobacco product use are needed.”

And even with the evidence and knowledge already available to the public, the study results were clear: “In this nationally representative longitudinal cohort study of 357 420 participants comparing exclusive cigar, pipe, and cigarette use with mortality risk, a statistically significantly elevated risk of tobacco-related cancer mortality among exclusive current and former cigarette smokers, current cigar smokers, and current pipe smokers, as well as a statistically significantly elevated risk of mortality from most examined causes of death among both current daily and nondaily cigarette smokers, were demonstrated.”

In other words: “This study provides further evidence that exclusive use of cigar, pipes, and cigarettes each confers significant mortality risks.”

The work to help employees stop smoking — and reduce business health costs — continues.