November brings a very important observance to any worksite wellness program, Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The CDC reports nearly 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking cigarettes and advises the following to lower lung cancer risk:
- Avoiding smoking or quitting smoking for those that already do
- Avoid secondhand smoke
- Test home for radon
- If you are exposed to dust and fumes at work discuss with your employer ways to protect yourself
- Notify your doctor if you have a family history of lung cancer
Implementing a smoking cessation program onsite is one way to raise lung cancer awareness in the workforce. The American Lung Association states that "Smoking-related illness in the U.S. costs more than $600 billion a year, including over $241 billion in direct medical care for adults and $184 billion in lost productivity." MMC has assisted in these initiatives by providing behavioral health counselors onsite that can help employees form a plan to quit smoking and help workers cope with stress and other issues that may arise when trying to quit and can refer them to other resources or ways to get medication if needed.
Free resources are also available by calling 1 (800) QUIT-NOW (784-8669), or texting "QUIT" to 47848.