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 complications from COVID-19.

In a report, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) also stated that smokers are at twice the risk of stroke than non-smokers, four times the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and 22 times the risk of developing lung cancer.

Citing statistics from 2020, the Senior Technical Specialist of the Smoke Hazard Prevention Division, Liu Chia-hsiu, said that smokers are more likely to take sick leave, are less productive because they have to take constant breaks for smoking and affecting the work environment with the smell of smoke.

Smoke residue on their clothes and hair can harm the health of co-workers or family members, Liu said, adding that employee health is directly related to a company’s competitiveness.

HPA General Manager Wu Chao-chun urged employers to hold resignation contests and openly congratulate those who successfully quit to foster a “healthy workforce,” to benefit the company and employees.

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The HPA provides cessation services, and companies can contact local health departments or offices, or other quit smoking facilities, and once approved, on-site counseling services would be provided, Wu said, adding that the HPA also offers free weaning classes. , according to Taipei Times.

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