Another Hidden Problem of Smoking

MHLbannersmallLost productivity and the healthcare workplace

NOTE: Smoking cessation is a topic you're going to find in every issue of your My Healthy Lifestyle online newsletter. Why? Because when it comes to your health, your productivity and your quality of life, no single behavior holds more risk. And because of the highly addictive properties of nicotine, it's good to know that you're not alone.

If you smoke please read these short articles. If you don't, please share them with a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor or a family member who does.

There are a lot of very good reasons to stop smoking and the most important begin with your personal health and wellbeing and with the lives of the people close to you. In the last issue of My Healthy Lifestyle we talked about the significant money required to be a smoker, ranging from the cost of the cigarettes themselves to the decreased re-sale value of homes and cars.

But beyond your personal finances, smoking costs money in the more public part of your life as well, including the time you spend in your working environment. Of course one major area of improvement is in the costs once associated with actually smoking in and around the workplace, when it was permitted in healthcare facilities; things like higher fire insurance and cleaning costs. Those expenses are now a thing of the past. But while that change is highly welcomed, what you do on your own time and in your own space can come back to have an effect on your work. And that impacts a lot of other people.

The legacy of less healthy, less productive team members

We all know smoking has a profoundly detrimental effect on your health and on the health of anyone present when you smoke. But consider how the effect on your health transfers to your career, your productivity, your colleagues and the people we serve: nationally-derived statistics show that smokers miss, on average, almost double the number of days due to illness when compared to non-smokers. Their percentage of down time due to physician office treatment and hospitalization are also significantly higher. And when smokers are hospitalized their length of stay is almost a day and a half longer.

A good reason to quit but not even the best oneno-smoking-signs

Two large independent studies, one in Sweden and the other in the U.S., demonstrate the negative effect that smoking, particularly chronic smoking, has on absenteeism, productivity and day-to-day job performance. The good news that came out of these studies is that once a smoker quits, all of these measures improve over time to the levels shown by non-smokers.

Your fellow team members, the individuals we care for and the entire community depend on you performing your work, whether it's directly in patient care or support of that care, at the highest level possible. If you smoke, stopping now will help you achieve that objective. But even more important is your performance in life and your productivity – and longevity – with the people you love. For information on smoking cessation programs, call Riverside Nurse at (757) 595-6363.

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