Thursday, June 04, 2009

Wellness Coordination

I hadn’t realized I was such a sucker for wellness information. As if my new job weren’t fascinating enough, StayWell is letting me attend a WELCOA Workplace Wellness Webinar for certification. It’s an awesome opportunity!

I was doing some reading on data analysis today and came across fascinating smoking information. This, coupled with an article I read yesterday about the employer who refuses to hire (and fires) smokers, has my head spinning.

The following quote is from Dr. Steve Aldana a professor of Lifestyle Medicine in the Department of Exercise Sciences at Brigham Young University. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the University of Illinois School of Medicine. Since he has spent his career researching and teaching about the impact of lifestyle on disease and quality of life I figure he’s a good person to reference.

“First, it’s important to understand that approximately 23% of the population uses tobacco. If you’re a female and you’re 24 years of age and you’re a smoker, it’s going to cost $106,000 for you over your lifetime to treat the diseases that you get from tobacco use. That’s everything. That’s private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid; it’s going to cost $106,000 to treat you. If you’re a man, and you’re a tobacco user at age 24 and you use tobacco your whole life, it’s going to cost $220,000. This equates to about $40 in healthcare costs for every pack of cigarettes you smoke.

So if you spent $4.25 for a pack of smokes, the real cost of that purchase is about $44.25—$40 of which will be paid for by someone else.”

What do we do with this? How can my work help people quit?

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