Taiwan urges employers to persuade staff to quit smoking

Employers have been urged to encourage their employees to quit smoking after it was listed as a risk factor for COVID-19 complications.
By: | May 6, 2022

In a report, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) also said smokers are exposed to twice the risk of stroke compared with non-smokers, four times the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and 22 times the risk of developing lung cancer.

Citing 2020 statistics, Smoke Hazard Prevention Division senior technical specialist Liu Chia-hsiu said that smokers are more prone to taking sick leave, are less productive because they need to take constant smoking breaks and affect the work environment with the smell of smoke.

Smoke residue on their clothing and hair can be detrimental to the health of colleagues or family members, Liu said, adding that employee health directly correlates to a company’s competitiveness.

HPA Director-General Wu Chao-chun urged employers to hold quitting contests and openly praise those who successfully quit to foster a “healthy workforce,” benefitting the company and employees.

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The HPA provides quitting services and companies can reach out via local departments or bureaus of health, or other specialised facilities for quitting, and once approved, on-site counseling services would be provided, Wu said, adding that the HPA also provides free quitting courses, according to Taipei Times.