Quit vaping programs are becoming essential for today’s workers

Vaping has become a growing concern in the workplace, with nearly 11 million American adults using vaping products, according to the CDC. While many believe vaping to be relatively harmless, more socially acceptable than smoking, and a useful tool for quitting smoking, nicotine is addictive and dangerous no matter how it is administered. That’s why now is the time to learn more about vaping, why it’s harmful, and how your workplace can take action.

What is vaping?

Vaping devices are battery-powered instruments that use liquid-filled cartridges that typically contain nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. This liquid is heated into a vapor, which is then inhaled. Vaping devices include; e-cigarettes, pods, vape mods and vape pens, among others.

How does vaping work?

Blowing activates the heater, vaporizing the liquid in the cartridge. The user inhales the resulting vapour. Next-generation vaping devices deliver higher power to the atomizer, delivering nicotine faster and more efficiently to the user.

Isn’t vaping safer than smoking?

Often, employees who want to quit smoking turn to vaping, also known as e-cigarettes, sometimes believing it’s less harmful and more socially acceptable. Many choose to vape as a way to transition into becoming a non-smoker. Although e-cigarettes have been promoted as an aid to help people quit smoking, a recent study showed levels of nicotine addiction more than twice as high in e-cigarette users as in tobacco smokers. traditional.

Among users of both products, levels of nicotine addiction were higher when using an e-cigarette than conventional cigarettes. These results suggest that e-cigarettes may have a higher addictive potential than combustible cigarettes. Many employees choose to vape during work hours and smoke cigarettes outside of work hours, a combination that puts them at even greater risk for health problems. Despite the hype, vaping probably won’t help people quit smoking.

Vapers contain nicotine, sometimes in greater quantities than cigarettes. Nicotine is dangerous in all its forms and is a highly addictive toxic substance that raises blood pressure and spikes adrenaline, which increases heart rate and the risk of having a heart attack. Emerging data from John Hopkins suggests that vaping also increases the risk of lung disease and asthma. Employees who vape are exposing themselves to unknown chemicals that are not fully understood and likely hazardous.

Vaping is growing in popularity

Vaping is more popular with younger employees. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 20% of Americans aged 18-29 use vaping products, compared to 16% of those aged 30-64 and less than 0.5% of those aged 65 and over. And vaping is growing in popularity. The global e-cigarette and vaping market was valued at $18.13 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $182.84 billion by 2030. Many analysts predict that vaping and e-cigarettes will become the next epidemic of nicotine.

Vaping is a workplace concern

Employers should be concerned about the growing trend of vaping and its impact on employee health, the workplace, and health care benefit costs. Vaping reduces the overall productivity and morale of organizations. For example, those who vape are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as those who don’t. Their conditions may be more difficult to treat due to a disruption of coping mechanisms in the brain that dampen depressive symptoms. Higher incidences of nicotine use have also been linked to conditions such as ADHD. Productivity drops when vaping or cigarette breaks interrupt work. Those who vape are more likely to miss work due to health issues and illnesses.

Because vaping is sometimes seen as more socially acceptable, it’s not uncommon for employees to vape at work. When they do, 63% of co-workers say they are bothered or annoyed by 24-hour vaping. Vaping at work leads to an overall drop in morale and job satisfaction.

How can my workplace take action?

The evidence is clear: vaping is a growing trend that employers should be concerned about. Acting quickly is good for everyone in the workplace. Here are four steps employers can take today to help employees who vape find ways to quit.

  1. Train your employees. Many myths spread that vaping is safe and leads to better health and less nicotine use. Share the dangers of vaping with your team, so they aren’t fooled by misinformation.

  2. Be sure to offer a smoking cessation program as part of your benefits package that includes vaping. Many programs focus only on smokers.

  3. Find a program that offers an individualized approach with essential features like one-on-one coaching, engaging content, and resources to build healthier habits. Individuals are 3.6 times more likely to successfully quit with a trained coach by their side.

  4. Ask your provider for clinical evidence that their program works. A good provider will have quantifiable results backed by solid data and clinical documentation to back up claims.

Helping your employees quit vaping increases workplace productivity and reduces the overall impact on your business bottom line. The sooner you implement an effective quit-vaping program, the better it will be for your employees and your organization.

Photo: Flickr user Kannaway

About John Tuttle

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