Ohly helps employees quit smoking


Staff based at the Ohly site in Hamburg, Germany, were recently offered a Clever Smokeless Intensive course, to improve their health and help quit smoking.

The course was held on 21 February at Ohly headquarters and was sponsored by a German health insurance company. Suzan Bal, PA to Global HR Director, organised the event. She said: “The course ran for approximately two hours and was attended by nine people. It was split into three sections:

  • Part 1 – interesting facts about cigarettes and habits
  • Part 2 – a practical smoking exercise in which delegates were asked to smoke their cigarettes in a certain way
  • Part 3 – an exercise to help change habits

“Having completed all three sections, attendees were invited to have their spirometric lung age measured, as well as the CO content.”

The objective of the course was to get participants to accept themselves for who they are, but to rethink their behaviour.

On completing the course, delegates completed an anonymous survey prompting them to reflect on what they had learnt, the results of which have been fed back to the participants.

Long-term support
Suzan continued: “We know that there can be situations in everyday life where it’s easy to pick up a cigarette without thinking. Be it an extraordinary stressful situation, too much alcohol at a party or your own curiosity as to whether or not a cigarette still tastes good.”

“Statistics clearly show that long-term support has a significant impact on the success of quitting smoking.”

“The Clever Smokeless Intensive course provides a 36-month support programme for participants which includes a free 24-hour telephone hotline, and email and personal contact with the team. The aim is for participants to remain permanently smoke-free.”

“Twelve months after the course, the trainer will conduct an anonymous online participant survey. The evaluation of these results will be made available to Ohly in a presentation.”

Suzan concluded: “Not every person will finally stop smoking. But for every person who quits, it is an asset to Ohly and their own health.”

The course was run as a pilot but could be extended to other areas of ABF Ingredients, if successful.

Spirometric lung age measurement
In 2008, a British study found smokers who were told their lung age were more than twice as likely to quit as a group who weren’t told. The spirometric lung age test measures three factors:

  1. FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in a second). If airways are narrowed due to disease or damage the amount of air blown out is reduced.
  2. FVC (forced vital capacity). The maximum amount of air in the lungs that can be exhaled after a deep inhalation.
  3. Peak flow rate. The fastest rate of air that can be blown out of the lungs.

It is possible for a person with lung damage can have ‘older’ lungs than their real age, just as an older, fit person who has never smoked can have ‘younger’ lungs.