The challenge was first launched by the Public Health Agency (PHA) in October 2014 and urges businesses to sign up to support their employees on the road to a healthier life.
It encourages smokers to give up smoking for 28 days, because research shows that if a person stops smoking for 28 days or more, they are five times more likely to stop for good.
Frances Haughey, Smoking Cessation Specialist said: “No Smoking Day which is on Wednesday March 11 provides an excellent opportunity to once again call on local businesses to help improve the health of their employees which in turn will bring many benefits.
“Not only will this initiative benefit the individuals themselves, but it will also have a positive impact on the organisation as a whole. Smoke breaks and additional sick leave taken by smokers are costing UK businesses £8.7 billion annually in lost productivity, so helping staff who smoke quit makes sense both economically and in terms of health, and shows that a business is committed to improving the wellbeing of its staff.
“I would encourage business to avail of this opportunity and to make use of the stop smoking support that is available to workplaces across Northern Ireland.”
For more information contact Frances Haughey, Smoking Cessation Specialist, Health Inequalities, Banbridge on 075 0077 2905.