Blue-collar workers smoke at a higher rate than any other population group. Because of this, tobacco related health care costs are about 10% of total Health and Welfare Trust Fund costs. Heart disease alone accounts for 45% of those costs. Heart disease is the number one cause of death among smokers. Forty-three percent of deaths caused by smoking are due to heart disease. According to the American Heart Association:
- Smokers' risk of heart attack is more than twice that of nonsmokers.
- Cigarette smoking is the biggest risk factor for sudden cardiac death. Smokers have two to four times the risk of nonsmokers.
- Cigarette smoking is the most important risk factor for both young men and women. It produces a greater relative risk in persons under 50 years of age than in those over 50 years old.
- Chronic exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (secondhand smoke, passive smoking) may increase the risk of heart disease.
The dangers of heart disease are reduced soon after a person stops smoking. Your members will have a much better chance to enjoy those pensions they work so hard to earn if they stop using tobacco. The built project has brochures and other resources to help your members who make the choice to quit. Call us at 916-442-8368 for more information.
Sources: American Heart Association, Stoneturn Consultants