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May 29, 2020 10:00 AM

Forged Technologies plants in Brazil became tobacco-free

  • The company is investing against smoking and offers medical support and partial coverage of the cost of medicines for employees who wish to quit smoking

thyssenkrupp reinforces its commitment to Health and Safety and turned its two automotive components factories located in Campo Limpo Paulista (São Paulo State) and Santa Luzia (Minas Gerais) into a smoke-free environment.

Despite widespread information about the harmful effects of cigarette smoking, many people still smoke. The longer a person smokes, the more difficult it is to quit and the greater the chances of developing some type of tobacco-related illness. Quitting smoking is not easy and requires some attitudes, such as high individual motivation, support from family, friends and colleagues, setting a specific date and, if possible, having the help of a medical professional to deal with abstinence in the best possible manner.

With that in mind, thyssenkrupp's Forged Technologies in Brazil created a broad anti-smoking initiative in 2018: the STOP program. 70 of the approximately 150 employees who smoke have already achieved the goal of quitting smoking, together with their families. The company continues to support the employees that have not yet managed to get rid of smoking.

“The health of our employees has always been a priority for thyssenkrupp. We constantly foster awareness to improve well-being with actions related to health, such as exercising, nutrition and medical assessments. We know how difficult it is to quit smoking, and more than just creating an anti-smoking policy, our goal was to help them in this life mission. Deactivation of smoking areas ensures quality of life and everybody’s health”, said Camila Macedo, HR manager of thyssenkrupp Forged Technologies in South America.

The company initially conducted a survey of all 2500 employees and found that 150 were tobacco-dependent. The first starting point was to organise an informational lecture with a cardiologist from the region who is engaged in anti-smoking, in order to encourage people to take part in the program. 77% of the smokers adhered.

The program continued with the company’s support to several employees and third-party workers through psychological and medical support and covering part of the cost of medicines and nicotine patches for treating cigarette addiction for everyone who wished to quit smoking.

Each person was encouraged to set their own D-Day when they would stop smoking permanently. With the date in mind, they began attending therapy sessions. Those who reached 30 days without smoking received a certificate of recognition. The benefits were extended to the employees’ families, as some family members were also smokers. With help and examples, they were all able to stop together.

“I work at thyssenkrupp for 21 years, and after smoking for some time, I realised that it was very bad not only for health, but for my job as well. Fortunately, I convinced my wife to take part in the program here at the company - which was wonderful, as she also stopped smoking. I appreciate the support we received. Now, my daughter even hugs me more, I am very proud to have managed to stop”, says Robson Marinho, production operator at the factory. He also advises those who are trying to stop: “It is not easy, but the effort is rewarding”, he adds.

428 people die every day in Brazil from nicotine addiction, according to the Health Ministry’s National Cancer Institute. In addition, the institute estimates that R$ 56.9 billion are lost every year due to medical expenses and loss of productivity.

Link: Video