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Stop smoking

The project Stop smoking started 1st May 2001 and ended 1st May 2003. Participating companies:

  • Elkem Aluminium
  • Hydro Aluminium
  • ISAL
  • Nor­urßl
  • S°r-Norge Aluminium
  • Vigeland Metal Refinery

The strategy document of AMS for the period 2000 - 2004 ascertained that focus should be put on smoking and the health damage caused by it.  Statistics  showed that cigarette smoking combined with work in the pot rooms could increase the danger of pot room asthma.

30 % of the normal population in Norway smoked.  In our industry the level was 40 %, some shifts up till 70 %.  The number of employees in the aluminium industry in Norway and Iceland in 2001 was app. 5 000.

Viewed against this background the general assembly of AMS in 2001 agreed to put through a 2-years project on stop  smoking.  The presupposition was that the union elected representatives undertook to support and guide the activities in stop smoking at the plants.

The objective of the project was that  50 % of the smokers at the plants wanted to stop to smoke and registered to courses or other activities and that 30 % of the participants would still be abstinent after 1 year.  50 % correspond to a number of 1  000 persons.

The safety overseers functioned as local project leaders and project group. The plant nurses contributed with professional support and counseling.

Information and registration
A motivational campaign was carried out during autumn 2001. The safety deputies and the union representatives presented the message and motivated to stop smoking. The main message to motivate was addressed towards personal economy and the potential of saving by quitting the smoking. The methods that were offered were smoking cessation courses, self-administered groups and individual counseling by the plant nurses or medical personnel. All the employees with their partners received the offer. Most of the plants offered free pharmacotherapies. The first registration deadline was put to 31st of December 2001.

A campaign 2 was put through in September 2002. A video was shown to all the employees at shift, safety or other relevant meetings. The video gave information about results and interviews with the participants ľ both the ones that were helpers and the ones in process. It offered the smokers participation for counseling to stop smoking. Parallel to the showing of the video at the plants, all employees received by mail at home AMS Info (a leaflet) giving a summary of the information in the video and inviting to  registration and counseling by the plant nurses or medical personnel

Totally registered
During 2 motivational campaigns 1 103 registered the program (880 employees/223 partners).  With a desired number of 1 000 persons, this is a good result.  43 % of the employees that smoke participated.  For 11 % of the employees that smoked, the partners took advantage of the offer.

Abstinent after 1 year
Totally 934 persons received a questionnaire 1 year after they entered the smoking cessation program
(2 campaigns). 75 % filled in and returned the questionnaire.

1 year was the criterion to be signified as abstinent.
Of 934 persons 246 succeeded in their project to stub out the cigarettes, that is 26 %.  21 % were employees and 5 % partners.  more...

The project has received numerous attention by the local press and has been mentioned in several articles in newspapers/periodicals in Norway.

The public health authorities in Norway showed great interest. Minister of Health Dagfinn H°ybrňten was in the video that was used in campaign 2. The public health authorities in Iceland gave the project an acknowledgement in September 2003.

The results of campaign 1 were presented in a poster at the Fifth Annual European Conference of SRNT (Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco) in November 2003 and the abstract printed in the periodical Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Aluminium industry smoking employees and partners who participate in an industry sponsored quitting program, are able to successfully stop smoking as demonstrated by an overall 26 % cessation rate at one year.

Use of safety deputies and union representatives to motivate employees to participate in a smoking cessation program is a successful strategy.

Counseling in groups seems to have a better effect than individual counseling. Dissimilarity between the two categories is not evaluated.

Pharmacotherapies single or in combination, are a useful aid to smoking cessation.

Prioritization of smoking cessation and provision of smoking cessation programs by the primary aluminium smelters of Norway and Iceland has resulted in significantly fewer employees who smoke.

Joint campaigns and focus are a vicious circle, which result in positive effects at the plants and in the local communities.

The project group recommends towards the General Assembly of AMS that similar joint campaigns be planned in the future.

For the achievement of motivating and assisting  employees to stub out the cigarettes, Alcan ß ═slandi (ISAL) and Aluminiumindustriens Milj°sekretariat (AMS) were in a ceremony in Reykjavik on the 23rd September 2003 given acknowledgement from The Icelandic Directorate of Health and The Public Health Institute. 
The picture shows from left Elly B. Andresen - Project Leader AMS, ŮorgrÝmur Ůrßinsson - Leader of The Icelandic Tobacco Control Task Force (who was in charge of the formal presentation), and Rannveig Rist - Director ISAL.

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