Corporate Case Study

Quit with Nancy™ Tobacco Cessation Program©

Case Study with an Idaho-based Agribusiness CorporationThis is a summary of the successful implementation of the Quit with Nancy™ Tobacco Cessation Program© inside of a large, Idaho-based agribusiness corporation and will be referred to as Client for this study. This Client began working directly with Nancy Caspersen, RN, Tobacco Cessation Specialist and her program in a comprehensive capacity in 2014, so this summary will focus on the program and its outcomes from that time period. Nancy’s history with the company goes back nearly 15 years, as a facilitator of her live, onsite program at many of the Client’s locations. That longstanding relationship with the company’s employee base and culture helped Nancy’s team to fine-tune a new model for the employee launch plan.  Their new strategy of combining the DVD education to be watched at home and phone coaching to support the participant through the program has led to a tremendous success.

The Landscape

Tobacco addiction is classified as a chronic relapsing addictive disorder. That’s why sustainable, positive outcomes can only be achieved when support is available as needed over time. Tobacco use also costs employers through increased health and life insurance costs, and workers’ compensation claims. Here are the facts:

The Costs of Tobacco Use

According to Ohio State University1 an employee who smokes costs the company an additional:

  •          $6000 per year versus a non-smoker: $2,600 in lost productivity + $3,400 in excess health care costs.
  •          On average, smokers take four extra ten-minute breaks every day, equating to about one lost month of work each year.
  •          On average, a smoker takes 5-6 more sick days per year than a non-smoker, equating to more than one lost week of work each year.
  •          According to the American Cancer Society, workers’ compensation costs for a smoker averages about $2,200 per year, compared to just $200 for a non-smoker.
  •          Smokers are 29% more likely to be involved in industrial accidents.
  •          Smokers are 40% more likely to incur work-related injuries.

·        Tobacco-related illnesses and work-related injuries/accidents can create many years of chronic impairment and disability, resulting in a significant financial burden for employees and their employer.

These smoking employees cost an estimated $7 million dollars per year more than non-smoking employees. The national average of tobacco use has remained around 11-13% of the workforce. Based on those cost estimates, each person who quits tobacco could save the company $6,000/ year. Those savings carry forward each year: a ten year employee who smokes will cost an estimated $60,000 in additional benefits and absentee expenses versus a non-smoking employee of the same tenure.

Quit Rates

Understanding quit rates for tobacco cessation can be confusing and statistics can be misleading. Below is a summary of general quit rates from other methods and programs:

  •         Cold Turkey = 3%
  •          Hypnosis, Herbs or Acupuncture = 3-5%
  •          Medication alone without education (Nicotine Replacement and/or RX Pills) = 10-22%
  •          Mayo Clinic Inpatient 8-day program = 52%
             ü $5,500 per person.

ü  Averages about 60 patients per year = 30 people quit per year at an annual cost of $330,000.

 

The Client had roughly 5,385 benefit-eligible employees in 2017. Based on current data 21%, or 1,123 team members, are ineligible for the tobacco discounted health plan rates. Many employees who work for the Client also have dependents on their company health plan who use tobacco. Those dependents could easily account for an additional 200-300 tobacco users on the plan.

Strategy

The Client offered all tobacco and vape users the option to achieve the lower health plan rates if they simply completed the Quit with Nancy™ Program©. "Completion” is declared after the participant has watched the 8 hours of DVD, filled in the personal workbook and talked the Tobacco Cessation Phone Coach at least three times. The Client chose Nancy’s program to be the only "reasonable alternative” for the premium differential program. If many "reasonable alternative” options are available, often the participant will chose the quickest and easiest option rather than the most effective program. The model of offering only one "reasonable alternative” increases successful outcomes and rewards the employee for their efforts to learn more about their addiction.


Target Audience Engagement

In 2014, Nancy and her staff increased their onsite presence at Client locations and became the gatekeepers for delivering the Quit with Nancy™ DVD. On-site visits were planned for over ten locations with the highest tobacco use rates identified by Client’s Benefit Team. The first year included over 40 hours of live onsite presentations attended by 1,400 employees. Attendance at these events was mandatory and part of a larger safety training initiative. This proved key in reaching the target audience.

 

Improved Outcomes with Phone Coaching

In 2014, program participants were required to complete a minimum of three telephonic coaching sessions with a trained Tobacco Cessation Coach. The coaching calls have been proven to increase participant accountability. The benefits of coaching include: increased engagement, substantial increase in motivation, deeper commitment, superior quit & reduction rates, and greater long-term success. 

Key Results

Quit with Nancy™ has continuously achieved some of the highest quit and reduction rates in the country. This Client’s quit rates averaged 65% at the 12-month follow up, with an additional 20% having reduced their tobacco use. This quit and reduction rate of over 85% is a predictor of the long term commitment and success of each of these ex-tobacco users. Additionally, the program has contributed to the reduction of self-declared tobacco users by 8% (between 2014 and 2015).

Quit Rates - 2014-2016 

2014 - 67% Quit and 17% Reduced

2015 - 63% Quit and 23% Reduced

2016 - 67% Quit and 33% Reduced

Based on comparisons to other tobacco cessation programs, here are key differentiators that make the Quit with Nancy™ Program© so much more effective:

ü  High level, in-depth content explaining tobacco addiction and treatment in an engaging, user-friendly format

ü  Home based education allows for course completion at own pace

ü  Proven to increase likelihood to seek assistance from a medical provide, which increased the use of appropriate tobacco cessation medications/tools

ü  Physical DVD set delivers pass-along and review value for participants

ü  Jointly develop "Quit Plan” personalized to each individual

ü  Process approach to tobacco cessation means less pressure and greater success rates          

ü  Ongoing and unlimited support to all past, current, and future team members

ü  Proprietary motivational teaching style proven to increase the desire to quit. Motivation to quit survey data on a 0-10 scale - before program = 4-5; after program = 9.7

 

The successful outcomes obtained with this Client are easily applicable to other industries and companies, especially if the key features of the program are included in any large implementation. Recommended criteria to achieve similar quit rates and costs savings:

ü  Incentive for participation

ü  Cooperation and company involvement for onsite education sessions

ü  Comprehensive communication plan to employees and dependents

ü  Commitment to a multi-year approach

By the Client’s own reporting, Quit with Nancy™ was credited with helping the Client save close to $1.2 million dollars2 just in the program’s first year. Because the Client has a self-funded health plan, the true cost savings is likely much higher. For the employees and dependents who continue to remain tobacco free, the Client will continue to optimize the savings of nearly $6,000 per employee per year in their improved healthy lifestyle. 

The long-term commitment of the Client to providing a comprehensive tobacco cessation program along with continued evolution of the teaching tools used by Quit with Nancy™ have helped hundreds of employees and dependents free themselves of the burden of tobacco use. The cost savings for the Client combined with the improved quality of life for the participants creates a compelling case to other companies to implement a similar model. 



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