November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and the Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA) is using the month to raise awareness about the need for more research about this disease.
Lung cancer causes about 27 percent of all cancer deaths and is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, according to the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. The disease kills almost twice as many women as breast cancer and almost three times as many men as prostate cancer. While most instances of lung cancer are caused by cigarette smoking, the disease is often not detected until symptoms develop.
Construction workers smoke at higher rates
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 33 million workers in the U.S. regularly smoke cigarettes, vape or use a tobacco product.
Studies have shown that workers in certain occupations have a higher tendency to smoke cigarettes. Construction workers had the highest overall tobacco use by occupation at 34.3 percent, and 24 percent of construction workers said they smoked regularly.
Wellness programs help workers quit
Anti-tobacco messaging, tobacco bans in public places and worksites, employer coverage for cessation treatment, and customized interventions to prevent workers from starting smoking and to help with quitting are all proven strategies to reduce instances of tobacco use among workers.
Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death worldwide. Quitting smoking has been proven to improve health immediately and over the long-term.
Wellness programs establish a healthier work environment for employees through stress reduction as well as boosting overall nutrition. There are many organizations and programs that are proven to help smokers quit for good, and construction business leaders should tap into their local resources.
Maintain a smoke-free jobsite
Maintaining smoke-free policies at job sites is one of the best ways to help workers quit. In fact, a CDC report revealed that employees at smoke-free workplaces were twice as likely to quit smoking than those at worksites without such policies.
Smoking can cause lung damage, which means workers who smoke may be more susceptible to other hazardous substances found on the job site. Addressing the risks of smoking in the workplace and providing cessation programs for employees is important and necessary to improve workers’ overall health.
How to quit smoking
Studies show that more than 70 percent of smokers would like to quit or have tried to quit. Although quitting isn’t easy, there are some ways to improve your chances for success.
One of the key factors in sticking with a plan to quit is establishing a clear motivation. Without a reason to stop smoking, it’s highly unlikely you’ll do it. A great motivator is when health plans provide tobacco cessation benefits that reward workers for being smoke-free.
Another way to quit is to engage in coaching or counseling. One-to-one tobacco cessation coaching sessions can double success rates. Education is one of the best tools out there for kicking the habit.
National Smokeout Day
November 15 is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout and could mark the start of a smoke-free life. On this day, thousands of smokers across the country will take the first step toward a healthier life together.
Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death worldwide. Quitting smoking has been proven to improve health immediately, as well as over the long-term. Your chances of successfully quitting increase as you leverage the help that’s out there. The Great American Smokeout provides an opportunity for individuals, businesses and health care providers to encourage people to make a plan to quit once and for all.