What is good health?

There is no safe level of tobacco smoking. The harmful health effects of smoking include lung and other cancers, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke and chronic lung disease.

Twenty percent of ACT workers report smoking daily.  Of significant concern, this rate is double for workers in blue-collar industries in the ACT1.

The best thing a smoker can do for their own health and the health of family and friends is to quit smoking. Cutting down and quitting at any age is beneficial, increasing life expectancy and improving quality of life.

Cutting down and quitting is much easier if it is supported by the workplace environment, managers and co-workers.  Workplace quit smoking programs have shown immediate return on investment, with significant return on investment within as little as two years2.

Workplace strategies

A combination of ‘healthy people’ and ‘healthy places’ strategies are most effective in promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace.  Healthy people strategies may look to increase the health knowledge, awareness and positive attitudes of workers (personal development) and/or facilitate their active participation in healthy behaviours (behaviour change).  Healthy places strategies are about providing a health promoting workplace environment through facilities, supportive cultures and/or policies.

For detailed information on developing and implementing a workplace health and wellbeing program, download a copy of the Guide to Promoting Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace 2016. Also refer to Supporting Resources for great ideas, services and information to assist your workplace in implementing the example strategies below, and more.

Examples of Smokefree Strategies Healthy People Healthy Places
Promote the benefits of cutting down and quitting smoking through brochures, posters etc.


Promote services from which staff can assess information and support with cutting down and quitting smoking.


Display and make quit resources available within the workplace, for example, in tea rooms, foyers, hallways or waiting areas. Order free resources from the Quitline.


Remind employees that they can seek advice, support and referral from their General Practitioner, other health professionals or workplace Employee Assistance Programs.


Arrange peer support groups for employees who are trying to cut down, quit smoking and stay smoke-free.


◊◊ Provide access to counselling through individual, group or telephone counselling programs on-site.


◊◊ Create and implement a comprehensive smoke-free workplace policy which helps create a physical environment and culture that supports non-smoking and employees who wish to quit.


◊◊ Promote a smoke-free workplace – update your knowledge about ACT tobacco laws and display no-smoking signs where it’s illegal to smoke.


◊◊ Provide access to nicotine replacement therapy for employees, such as patches or gum, through financial incentives or subsidies.


◊◊ Consider extending workplace quit programs to employees’ families and household members where feasible.


Within these tables:  ◊ this symbol indicates an easy or low-resource activity  ◊◊ this symbol indicates a more comprehensively resourced activity.


Links to Further Resources

The following websites provide great ideas, services and information to assist your workplace in implementing the above example strategies and more.

Health Campaigns and Information

  • The Cancer Council ACT – information on smoking cessation support
  • Drug Facts: Tobacco (Australian Drug Foundation)
  • National Tobacco Campaign (Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing) – information about quitting and links to further resources
  • Oxygen – an interactive website informing young people about tobacco and its use

    Quitline – order free quit pack resources for your workplace Ph 13 QUIT (13 7848)   

Individual Support Services

  • ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Services Directory 2011 (ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Association)
  • The Cancer Council ACT – information on group therapy and individual smoking cessation support
  • ICanQuit (Cancer Institute of NSW) – information and tools on quitting
  • Quitline – a free telephone information and advice or counselling service for people who want to quit smoking. Ph. 13 QUIT (13 7848)
  • Quit Coach (The Cancer Council Victoria) – free interactive online computer-generated smoking cessation advice
  • You can also seek advice, support and referrals from your General Practitioner or other health professionals regarding your health and wellbeing.

Programs and Activities

Workplace Policy 

For more information on providers of health and wellbeing activities go to the Service Provider section.

[1] PricewaterhouseCoopers (2011). ACT Workplace Health Promotion Needs Analysis: Summary Report. Prepared on behalf of the ACT Government Health Directorate.  Accessed 7 March 2012 at

[2] WorkSafe Victoria (2010). Healthy Workplace Kit. Your Guide to Implementing Health and Wellbeing Programs at Work. WorkSafe Victoria: Melbourne