Lung cancer is alarmingly common, but the majority of cases are completely preventable. It is estimated that approximately 90 percent of all lung cancers are caused by environment or lifestyle.
Smoking is the biggest risk factor – and can negatively impact the health of both your workforce and your business. In fact, $96.8 billion is lost annually in productivity due to sickness and premature death.
Workplace smoking cessation programs can help to decrease worker exposure to second-hand smoke and encourage tobacco users to quit. These programs are also an important way to show workers you care about their health and wellbeing – a key driver in workplace satisfaction and productivity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest several program options, including:
- Tobacco free buildings and zones: Smoke-free environments are one of the best ways to reduce workforce exposure to second hand smoke.
- Worksite counseling: Studies have found that even brief counseling (3 minutes) can be successful, and offering these options at work can help busy workers quit.
- Health benefits supporting tobacco cessation: Health benefits programs can include cessation counseling and options for reduced costs on smoking cessation aids.
- Flu Vaccine Clinic: Individuals who smoke are also at a higher risk of respiratory infections.
Promoting flu vaccines and flu vaccine clinics can help to protect and promote workforce health.
Learn more about implementing a program in your workplace at:
Facts and figures
- Nicotine addiction is often severe and may require multiple quit attempts (8 to 11) before the tobacco user can quit permanently.
- 10 to 15% of lung cancers occur in non-smokers. Of these cases, the most common causes are exposure to secondhand smoke, asbestos, and radon.
- Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States.
- The average cost of treating lung cancer is estimated to be $39,891 per patient.
- While 226,160 new cases were expected to be diagnosed in 2012,6 many individuals underestimate the risk - 62% of workers believe it is not at all likely or not very likely they or a family member will experience a serious illness such as cancer.
- 76 percent of workers who agree their employer takes care of its employees are unlikely to look for another job in the next 12 months.
- 44 percent of businesses agree they are able to offer lower premiums as a result of their wellness program, and six in ten (61 percent) agree they have a healthier workforce.
How Aflac’s Cancer Policy Works
Cancer can take a toll on individuals and their family — physically, emotionally and even financially. Since 1958, Aflac has provided families with an extra level of financial protection through cancer insurance policies7 that help with cancer treatment costs. Cash benefits paid directly offer policyholders the flexibility to help with bills related to their treatment or to help with everyday living expenses — whichever is best for them.
The Aflac cancer insurance policy helps provide protection if a positive cancer diagnosis ever occurs. The policy provides coverage for dependent children at no extra cost with premiums as low as $3.21 per week.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012). Accessed on October 19, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/implementation/topics/tobacco-use.html.
2012 Aflac WorkForces Report, a study conducted by Research Now on behalf of Aflac, January 24–February 23, 2012.
Couraud S, Zalcman G, Milleron B, Morin F, Souquet PJ. (2012). Lung cancer in never smokers--a review. European Journal of Cancer, Epub, 2012 mar, 28 48(9): 1299-311.
American Cancer Society (2012). Cancer Facts and Figures 2012. Accessed on October 18, 2012, from http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-031941.pdf.
U.S. News Health (2008). Costs for Medicare Cancer Treatment Sore. Accessed on October 18, 2012, from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/articles/2008/06/10/medicare-costs-for-cancer-treatment-soar.
American Lung Association (2012). Lung Cancer Fact Sheet. Accessed on October 18, 2012, from http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/resources/facts-figures/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html.
Policy may not be available in all states. Benefits may vary by state and plan level selected. Policy Series A75000, A76000, A78000; In Idaho, Policies A78100ID, A78200ID, A78300ID, and A78400ID; In Oklahoma, Policies A78100OK, A78200OK, A78300OK, and A78400OK.
Rate is based on individual/one-parent family coverage for ages 18–75, Aflac Preferred Cancer Care policy, no riders, and payroll deduction.