Fleet News

Careers: Should firms help staff stop smoking?

Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) proposing that employers offer “stop smoking” courses in the workplace have drawn mixed reactions from industry groups.

Support in the workplace could be an attractive investment for employers, helping deliver a happier, healthier and more productive workforce, according to the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.

However, experts at the Forum of Private Business (FPB) believe the extra costs of disrupting the workforce will cut productivity as workers take time off to attend the courses.

Victoria Carson, campaigns manager at the FPB, said: “Where do we draw the line? What provisions would be put in place if the clinics fail to help the employee? Many smokers struggle to quit and businesses must not be left with a growing bill.

“Why doesn’t the NHS use the savings made in the cost of healthcare by the smoking ban to set up evening smoking clinics out of work hours?”

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