MOUNT VERNON — Ver-Mac Industries in Mount Vernon has created a Smoking/Tobacco Cessation Incentive Program in which employees become educated on how to quit smoking or using tobacco, and figure out how to move on. Alongside the Knox County Health Department, Ver-Mac Industries has been able to educate their employees first of the dangers of using tobacco, and then give those who are interested the chance to participate in an eight-week incentive program with classes once a week to progress in their ultimate goal to quit smoking.
Ver-Mac Industries’ Wellness Committee worked with the health department to put together its smoking cessation program.
“The smoking cessation program has full sponsorship throughout the entire company. The Wellness Committee are the ones who really put it all together,” said Stephanie Burson, Ver-Mac Industries’ Wellness Committee chairperson.
“Our Wellness Committee had been talking about things we could do to improve our employees’ health knowledge ... knowing that we have a lot of employees who smoke, and we did what we could to help,” said Burson.
The program features a financial incentive to the employees, as they voluntarily complete the program that is based on three defined milestones. The employee must complete an eight- to 12-week tobacco cessation program to receive a $50 incentive; remain tobacco free for six months to receive a $100 incentive, which is determined by a nicotine test; and then remain tobacco free for 12 months to receive a $200 incentive, which is also determined by a nicotine test. The employees are also required to sign a commitment form that documents their progress through the program in addition to submitting to a nicotine test following the end of the course.
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