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Archive for Monday, June 16, 2008

Blue Cross of Kansas to enact tobacco-free workplace

June 16, 2008

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— The state's largest health insurer -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas -- is going smoke-free.

On July 1, the company, which employs 1,450 people in Topeka and 10 field offices, including one in Lawrence, will ban tobacco at its workplaces.

"Implementing a tobacco-free policy sends a strong message that we care about the health and safety of our employees," said Graham Bailey, vice president of corporate communications and public relations. "We cannot be credible in promoting the importance of health and wellness to our employer groups and members if we are not first willing to tackle the big issues ourselves," Bailey said.

Use of tobacco products will be banned on any owned or leased company property, in company cars or on company-paid break times.

Previously, employees and visitors had access to outdoor designated smoking areas at each Blue Cross location but as of July 1, those areas no longer will be available. Employees who choose to smoke or use other tobacco products on their lunch break will be required to leave company property.

The company first told its employees of the new policy in December and offered to reimburse employees up to $100 for approved tobacco cessation products such as nicotine gums and patches.

Comments

toe 5 years, 10 months ago

Health insurance companies should be nationalized.

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janeyb 5 years, 10 months ago

Maybe smokers appear to be friendlier because they are always standing right outside the front door of the business to say "Hi!" to you as you enter and blow smoke in your face.

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Confrontation 5 years, 10 months ago

"smokers do tend to be friendlier than non-smokers in the workplace."Not really. They just can't yell as much without wheezing and coughing.

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supernik 5 years, 10 months ago

note to self dont call BCBS for a while cuz they are going to be some disgruntled people its an individual's choice not their employers. smokers do tend to be friendlier than non-smokers in the workplace. i think its unfair. but at least they are helping them quit.

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Confrontation 5 years, 10 months ago

"Implementing a tobacco-free policy sends a strong message that we care about the health and safety of our employees"Yeah, right. You only care about the money you'll save. This is, however, a smart move for every employer.

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