According to the CDC, almost 70% of American smokers are interested in quitting.
We know quitting can be difficult. It's helpful to have a plan in place.
There are many health benefits to quitting. Under the Affordable Care Act of 2010 all health insurers are required to cover two cessation attempts per year that include four tobacco cessation counseling sessions and access to all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved tobacco cessation drugs including nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum, as well as prescription medications. Consult your health insurance for coverage information and speak to a medical care provider to learn more about covered prescriptions and nicotine replacement therapies.
The following resources to help you cut back or quit.
1. Your Health Insurance Provider
Most providers offer cessation counseling discounts on smoking cessation programs.
Students enrolled in the school-sponsored health insurance program through Blue Cross Blue Shield can access the following:
- cessation support services on the ahealthyme.com website. A member can register for a free six week self-paced interactive workshop on smoking cessation which provides resources and tools
- telephone coaching ($85 per person)
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy is covered under the Blue Cross Blue Shield pharmacy benefit.
- OTC lozenges, skin patches and gum, and prescription medications are covered with a prescription from your health care provider.
Faculty and Staff who subscribe to the Harvard Pilgram Health Plan have access to discounted programs including:
- Quit Smart--quit kit program; members save 18%
- Craving to Quit--a 21 day smartphone app-based program where members save 25%.
Faculty and Staff can also visit KGA, our Employee Assistance Program for additional resources.
2. An online cessation program
In addition to the programs above, these organiztaions offer programs.
Quit for Life
The American Cancer Society’s phone-based coaching and web-based learning support service to help smokers quit.
Freedom from Smoking
The American Lung Association’s Online program prepares and supports users in behavior change and quitting
The Center for Disease Control's comprehensive website with tools to help you create your quit plan, text messaging service and coaching.
3. Professional telephone support
Telecounseling has been shown to double the chances of long-term quitting.
1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) Telephone counseling has been shown to double the chances of long-term quitting. The Massachusetts Smoker's Helpline is a free and confidential source for support and information to help quit smoking. Available Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
1.877.44U.QUIT (448.7848) This is a free, comprehensive phone and online program offered by the US Centers for Disease Control(CDC). It offers optional texting with a counselor from the National Cancer Institute.
4. Smartphone apps
There are several apps for smart phones that support users in the quitting process:
- QuitStart Available on GooglePlay and Itunes.
- Smoke free text Mobile text messaging service for any provider
- Livestrong MyQuitCoach Available on Itunes
- Quit Smoking/QuitNow Available on GooglePlay
- KickSmoking Available for Windows phone
- My Last Cigarette Available on Itunes
- MyQuitBuddy Available for all devices
- This is Quitting Available on itunes or Google Play
5. Your healthcare provider
Talk with your provider to learn more about:
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy like the Patch, Gum or Lozenges. For people with moderate to severe nicotine dependence, these can assist in reducing cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
- Prescription Drug Therapy, especially if you have had limited success with past quit attempts. These are often helpful for those with severe dependence.
6. On campus programs
- Office of Wellness & Health Promotion 781.891.2600 offers Health Coaching for cessation and can refer to medical providers at the Health Center if prescription medications are an option for you.
- Wellness & Health Promotion also offers Freedom From Smoking an 8 session small-group cessation class utilizing the American Lung Association’s highly effective curriculum. The program is FREE and it supports users in preparing to quit all the way through the actual quitting process. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the program.
- Medical Providers in the Health Center 781.891.2222 can also speak to students about quitting. Depending upon your use patterns, medications may be an option to assist with quitting.