What have I got to lose? I’m here anyway”: a qualitative study assessing how reach and participation can be improved in workplace smoking cessation programmes
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Addiction Research Institute, The Hague, The Netherlands
Department of Health Promotion, Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Department of Family Medicine, Care and Public Health Research Institute, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Corresponding author
Nikita L. Poole   

IVO Research Institute, The Hague, The Netherlands
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A51
Effective workplace programmes for smoking cessation have the potential to reach smokers with a lower socioeconomic position, but these programmes often have low participation rates. The objective of the present study is to uncover the needs of employees regarding reach and participation when implementing a workplace programme to address smoking cessation.

Material and Methods:
We carried out 19 semi-structured qualitative interviews in 2019 based on the RE-AIM Framework with (ex-)smoking employees of organisations with at least 100 employees in the Netherlands. Some of the interviewees had experience with a cessation programme and some did not. Data were analysed using the Framework method.

According to the employees, the employer could promote the cessation programme more proactively, such as by approaching employees personally, to improve its reach. The main barriers for participation were having to follow the programme in the employee’s own time or not being available to attend due to working night shifts or peak hours. Facilitators to reach and participation included being actively approached to participate by a colleague, receiving positive reactions from colleagues about the employee’s participation in the programme, the provision of the programme on location and the integration of the programme as part of the organisation’s vitality policy.

Our study presents recommendations to improve the reach and participation of employees in a workplace smoking cessation programme, such as using active communication strategies, training managers to stimulate smoking employees to participate and making the programme as accessible as possible by reimbursing time spent and offering the programme at the workplace or nearby. Integrating the smoking cessation programme into wider company vitality policy will also aid its continued provision.

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