Letters to the Editor – Dec. 29

Dear Editor,
Oh no! I couldn’t believe they are taking Christ our of Christmas. It’s difficult to find a card pertaining to the real meaning of Christmas. Most cards were just “Happy Holidays”, “Happy New Year”. How very sad.
Ethel Chatfield

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Soon we will take the plunge into a brand new year. A new year can be a great time for a fresh start, leaving old habits behind. Without a doubt, there are countless New Year’s resolutions one could make. In this letter, I would like to propose a fresh idea or resolution for you to consider for 2012.
As a business owner, you are most likely interested in hearing of ways to cut costs and boost profits. If you discovered that you were only tapping into approximately 20% of the adult population in Crook County, what would you do? Would you want to know how to draw the other 80% through your doors? What if you could reduce costs associated with cleaning and maintenance? Reduce insurance premiums? How about increasing employee productivity and improving the wellbeing of employees and customers?
If any of these questions have intrigued you, then you may want to add making your business smoke-free to the list of 2012 resolutions. In Crook County, 19% of the adult population currently smokes, leaving the remaining majority in the non-smokers realm. Most non-smokers will not frequent a business that allows smoking. Smoke-free and tobacco-free workplaces have lower cleaning, maintenance, ventilation and refurbishment costs. The need to repaint ceilings, walls, and replacing window coverings yellowed by tobacco smoke is eliminated. The cost of cleaning tobacco-related litter is also reduced. Some insurance companies offer discounts on life, disability and medical insurance for non-tobacco users and recently some insurance companies have substantially increased health premiums for tobacco users (i.e., Walmart, Home Depot, Macy’s, Pepsico).
Lastly, employees who smoke can rack up to 30 days per year in lost productivity in accumulated smoke breaks, are sick more often and absent from work at least 50% more than non-smokers. Secondhand smoke exposure results in additional medical costs and lost productivity. A smoke-free or tobacco-free work environment increases the likelihood for cessation of tobacco use and greatly reduces the initiation of tobacco use among youth. The final result – everyone wins!
To learn more, please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I will be happy to come to your business and discuss how becoming smoke-free can positively impact your business, your community and the lives of your employees and customers.
Warm Regards,
Kathy Cluff
Crook County Prevention & Health Coalition