One in ten UK employers are offering discounted or free programmes to help employees stop smoking, research for Britain's Healthiest Company has found.
The survey revealed that while 10m adults in Great Britain smoke, smoking interventions are the least likely wellness support to be provided by companies.
A third (33%) of organisations who offered smoking cessation programmes found they were used "frequently" by staff with 78% of such firms describing a "positive impact" on employee wellbeing.
Britain's Healthiest Company is the biggest study of employee health and wellbeing in the UK. It is conducted by Vitality and Mercer and the research surveyed over 25,000 employees from 82 companies.
The study also found of employees who smoke, two-fifths (40%) would like to stop smoking or are currently trying to stop smoking. Half (49%) of employees said they would like to stop at "some point in the future."
Meanwhile, 16% of companies do not have a written policy prohibiting smoking in work areas or on company grounds and 5% do not prohibit the sale of tobacco products onsite.
Among companies that did have a workplace policy on smoking, 57% of those polled said they have a policy that includes e-cigarettes.
Greg Levine, director of corporate and intermediated business at Vitality, said: "Companies need to direct their resources more appropriately and provide health and wellness facilities that are not only most wanted by employees but have the biggest impact on their health.
"By addressing one of the biggest contributors to lifestyle-related chronic diseases employers can reduce the incidence of absenteeism and presenteeism which costs the UK £58 billion a year.
"Providing information alone is not enough as smokers are already well aware of the risks. Our research shows that many employees have already overcome the biggest hurdle and taken the decision to want to quit smoking.
"This is the group that companies need to provide effective support to, through smoking cessation programmes. They then need to be communicated appropriately so they are aware of them, and implemented effectively to ensure take-up."
Thursday 3 December
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