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DOH-Miami-Dade and Tobacco Free Florida Encourage Tobacco Users to Quit Smoking on Great American Smokeout

November 13, 2018

Miami, Fla. — In observance of the Great American Smokeout (GASO), sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County and Tobacco Free Florida will be joined by multiple Miami-Dade County employers to encourage tobacco users to make a plan to quit smoking on Thursday, November 15.

The Great American Smokeout raises awareness about the dangers of smoking and the many effective resources available to help smokers successfully quit.

While it is common knowledge that smoking is bad for the smoker, not many consider the effect this addiction has on local businesses. In Florida alone, the annual direct costs to the economy attributable to smoking exceed $19.6 billion, including: workplace productivity losses of $4.4 billion; premature death losses of $7.9 billion; and direct medical expenditures of $7.2 billion.[i] Between both the additional healthcare costs and losses in productivity, an employee who smokes could cost a business more than $6,000 every year.[ii] For each employee that quits, a business can save as much as $2,000 per year through reduced insurance cost.[iii]

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Florida and the United States.[iv] On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.[v] Smoking can also cost individuals a lot more than just their health. A pack-a-day smoker in Florida can spend more than $2,000 in just one year and more than $10,000 in five years on cigarettes.

Local employers, including Miami-Dade County, Jackson Health System, University of Miami and other worksites throughout the county will participate in the observance of the Great American Smokeout. 

Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program makes it easier than ever for tobacco users to access evidence-based, free tools and services to help them quit tobacco. For more information, please visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway

People can also access Tobacco Free Florida’s online Cost Calculator to find out how much money they could save by quitting smoking at tobaccofreeflorida.com/calculator.

[i] Penn State. “Potential Costs and Benefits of Smoking Cessation for Florida.” 30 April 2010. Web. 1 March 2011.http://www.lungusa.org/stop-smoking/tobacco-control-advocacy/reports-resources/cessation-economic-benefits/reports/SmokingCessationTheEconomicBenefits.pdf.

[ii] Berman, Micah, Crane, Rob, Seiber, Eric, Munur, Mehmet. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. British Medical Journal. 2014;176(12):1792-1798. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6530.

[iii] Berman, Micah, Crane, Rob, Seiber, Eric, Munur, Mehmet. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. British Medical Journal. 2014;176(12):1792-1798. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6530.

[iv] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.

[v] Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, et al. 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 2013;368:341–50 [accessed 2017 Mar 28].

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