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4 Keys to Successfully Engaging Tobacco Users in Cessation at Shape Corp.

Best Practice Example of Inspiring Tobacco-free Lives with The EX Program

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At Shape Corp., a global, tier-one automotive and industrial component supplier, the company’s wellbeing culture has a long and strong history. Shape Corp. started its focus on employee wellness in 1993 and has evolved its program every year since.

When Shape Corp. decided to outsource its tobacco cessation program in 2019, the company sought a partner that could align with its new wellness vendor. Shape Corp. also wanted a provider that could give employees easy access to evidence-based tools to quit, social support through a thriving online community, and 1:1 coaching through live chat with experts.


Shape Corp. launched the EX Program to employees in October 2019. Today, thanks to the right combination of a health-focused culture, a robust tobacco-free policy, comprehensive communications, and a tobacco surcharge, the company’s first-year participation rate is exceeding expectations. Here’s a deeper look into the keys for the company’s success.

1. Shape Corp.’s culture

Shape Corp.’s wellbeing mission statement is: To enhance the quality of life of employees and their family members through a comprehensive wellness program, incorporating relevant education, progressive programming, and sincere engagement.  As evidence of the company’s authentic commitment to this mission, Shape Corp. provides personalized coaching, an on-site dietitian, an on-site fitness center, and more to improve employee health.

2. A robust tobacco-free policy

To support the safety and welfare of all employees, Shape Corp. has maintained a nicotine-free campus since 2005. For employees, this means the use of nicotine products in all facilities is restricted; nicotine use is not permitted in any company facility, grounds or vehicles.

From 2005-2018, Shape Corp. also restricted the hiring of nicotine users. However, with a tight labor market emerging in 2018, the company revised its hiring practices to include tobacco users in September 2018, prompting a need for a more robust cessation program for employees.

3. Comprehensive communications

Shape Corp. announced changes to its annual requirements for its new wellbeing and nicotine programs in January 2019. To do this, Shape Corp.’s Wellbeing team leveraged multiple communication channels and repeated these messages from June through October. These channels included the company’s intranet, town hall meetings, “stall talks”—newsletters in bathroom stalls, TV displays in lunchrooms, Facebook, emails, and the wellness program platform.

In addition, the Wellbeing team conducted Skype meetings with managers called “Leader Learning Series,” with one in January to make announcements and one in June to explain the new programs and processes.

4. Tobacco surcharge

Beginning October 2019, Shape Corp. rolled out a nicotine surcharge to employees who attested to using tobacco or nicotine on the company’s Nicotine Pledge. In order to avoid the nicotine surcharge, employees needed to sign up for and complete the EX Program. The 3 options on the pledge were:

  • I do not use tobacco.
  • I use tobacco and do NOT wish to complete a reasonable alternative (which means I will incur a fee of $25/pay period as a surcharge between Oct. 1, 2019 - Sept. 30, 2020).
  • I use tobacco and DO want to complete a reasonable alternative (I will avoid a surcharge initially; however, I must complete the reasonable alternative by March 31, 2020. If I do not complete the reasonable alternative by this date, I will pay $50/pay period from April 1, 2020 – Sept. 30, 2020.)

Shape Corp. and the EX Program client success team then created targeted communications to the group who selected the last option to ensure they understood how to enroll.


Shape Corp Case Study Results

About The EX Program

The EX Program is the only quit-tobacco program that combines the power of Mayo Clinic’s proven treatment model with scientific leadership in digital tobacco solutions from Truth Initiative.

With the EX Program, tobacco users gain easily accessible, multimodal tools to connect and receive support to quit and stay quit. This support includes:

  • Personalized quit plan
  • Quit medication
  • Convenient live chat with an expert EX Coach
  • Dynamic text messages and emails that enhance the quitting process
  • Wisdom and support from the longest running active online community for quitting tobacco

The EX Program provides quit support for all tobacco use, including smoking, vaping and chewing/dipping.

Visit to learn more or see a demo today.