Cancer Council Queensland has called on workplaces to consider going smoke-free to improve the health of employees, following the release of a new study from Monash University assessing years of life lost and workplace productivity lost from smoking.
The study, published today in The BMJ, calculated the total economic impact of lost productivity would amount to $388 billion over the course of the current Aussie population’s working lives.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said smoking remained the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Australia.
“Today, we’re calling on workplaces to consider going smoke-free and provide their staff with support to quit to help reduce the burden of tobacco and associated diseases, including cancer,” Ms McMillan said.
“Having a smoke-free workplace not only improves the health of those that smoke, but this will increase productivity and protect employees from being exposed to second-hand smoke.
“A smoke-free workplace also provides a supportive environment for people that smoke to reduce their habit, or quit altogether.
“In Queensland alone around 3700 people die from a tobacco-related disease each year from smoking or second-hand smoke.
“Smoking can have a detrimental impact on an individual’s health and significantly increase the risk of chronic diseases, including 16 different types of cancer.
“This study reinforces the need to continue advocating for strengthened tobacco control laws in Queensland, to improve the health of Queenslanders and reduce the social and economic burden associated with smoking.
“While Queensland has the strongest smoke-free laws in Australia, more needs to be done to ensure more lives are saved.”
Currently around 12 per cent of Queensland adults smoke daily.
Workplaces looking to implement smoke-free policies and encourage staff to quit are encouraged to join the Queensland Government’s Workplace Quit Smoking Program.
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