Sarasota County Government

Angela Deem-Gustafson, RN, Wellness Development Advisor
1660 Ringling Blvd, 4th floor
Sarasota, FL 34236
C: 941-650-9908
adeem@scgov.net

Local government on the west coast of Florida with approximately 3100 employees; 3 bargaining units and over 200 employee locations.

Why Tobacco?

  • Other local hospitals and health department had implemented Tobacco Free Campuses, prior to SCG’s tobacco free hiring policy.
  • Meet with local health department, internal legal department and county administration; decision to not address was too costly.
  • Sarasota County Government is self insured, thus the savings is directly passed onto employer and employees in lower medical claims.
  • Tied into local health department and CDC initiative to reduce the number of new tobacco users.
  • A greater change to a culture of Wellness.

Obstacles/Opportunities

  • Bargaining units could claim that a new HR policy for a tobacco free campus, without being fully bargained, would be considered a change in conditions of employment thus open to grievances, etc.
  • Current tobacco free ordinances for beaches and parks; did not want the potential risk of tobacco lobbyist over turning these laws/ordinances.
  • Tobacco free hiring policy easier to implement than tobacco free campus initiative.
  • Continued communication, support and resources.
  • Highly encourage if considering a tobacco-free hiring policy that a tobacco free campus policy also be implemented.