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It isn't easy to quit tobacco—but it is possible!
The Great American Smokeout is the third Thursday of November.
The Great American Smokout encourages tobacco users to use this date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit using tobacco that day. By quitting — even for one day — tobacco users will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk. To learn more, click here. See below for a variety of resources and tips to help support both those who are quitting tobacco as well as those who are looking to support family, friends and colleagues on their quit journey.
There are many resources to help you quit tobacco including prescription medications, over the counter therapies, in-person coaching, telephonic coaching, online programs and multi-week programs. See below for more information on some of these resources or click here for a printable PDF.
Medications: NO copay for Tobacco Cessation Aids
- Employees and their covered family members on any of the Dartmouth-sponsored health plans can receive prescription medications without a copay with the CVS Caremark pharmacy coverage. These include the generic versions of Zyban and Chantix.
- Over-the-counter generic nicotine replacement therapies, such as the patch, gum, and lozenge, are also available without a copay (with a prescription).
In-Person Coaching & Workshops:
- Participate in the Quit Today telephonic program offered by Cigna at no cost to you! Receive individual coaching, a free toolkit which includes a workbook, a relaxation/meditation CD, and free nicotine replacement therapy (Patches and gum) for eight to twelve weeks, as appropriate.
- Cigna Members (employees and covered family members): 1-877-459-6150 and ask to speak to the Personal Health Team
- Benefits Eligible Employees who waived medical coverage: 1-855-561-3808 and ask to speak with CareAllies Personal Health Team
- Each state offers free telephonic counseling to help you quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Available to anyone.
- 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669)
- The National Cancer Institute: 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)
Online Programs & Apps:
- Free six-week Living Tobacco Free program offered by Cigna. Cigna Members (employees and covered family members): Visit www.mycigna.com, log in, click on Manage My Health and then click on Quit Today
- Smokefree.gov provides quit plans and access to an expert via live chat, plus you can receive tips and support through text messaging and the QuitSTART App.
- BeTobaccoFree.gov provides the facts and health effects of using tobacco, as well as the resources to help you quit for good.
- The American Cancer Society provides information and tips on how to quit smoking, as well as, tools and resources to help you on your way, including desktop helpers and a mobile game!
- The EX Plan is a free quit smoking program, one that can show you a whole new way to think about quitting. It's based on personal experiences from ex-smokers as well as the latest scientific research from the experts at Mayo Clinic.
- The Craving to Quit App (iPhone/iPad) is a 21-day mindfulness-based program based on a successful smoking cessation program developed and tested at Yale University.
- The Livestrong MyQuit Coach - Dare to Quit Smoking App (iPhone) allows you to design a personalized plan to help you quit smoking. Through this intuitive iPhone app, you'll evaluate your current status, set attainable goals and adjust preferences according to your needs. You'll have the option to choose to quit smoking right away or gradually decrease your daily nicotine intake.
- The QuitNow App (Android) offers real-time stats including how many cigarettes you've avoided, how much money and time you've saved plus connect with other quitters.
- Other popular quitting tobacco Apps can be found here.
Follow the Five Keys to Quitting (the full details can be found here):
- Get ready by setting your quit date and changing your environment by getting rid of all tobacco products
- Get support and encouragement by telling your friends, family, colleagues, and health care provider about your decision to quit and seek out counseling support
- Learn new skills and behaviors such as finding alternative ways to relax, drinking lots of water, and changing your routine
- Get medicine, and use it correctly (see above bullet on medications)
- Be prepared for a relapse or difficult situations by not getting discouraged if you have a set back and be on the lookout for difficult situations such as being around other tobacco users, drinking alcohol, or encountering a bad mood
General Hints for Friends and Family to Help Support a Quitter:
- Do respect that the quitter is in charge. This is their lifestyle change and challenge, not yours.
- Do ask the person if they want you to call or visit regularly to see how they are doing. Let the person know that it's ok to call you whenever they need to hear encouraging words.
- Do help the quitter get what they need, such as hard candy to suck on, straws to chew on, and fresh veggies cut up to snack on.
- Do spend time doing things with the quitter to keep their mind off tobacco - go to the movies, take a walk or bike ride.
- Do help the quitter with a few chores, child care, cooking - whatever will help lighten the stress of quitting.
- Do celebrate along the way. Quitting tobacco is a big deal!
- Don't take the quitter's grumpiness personally while they are withdrawing from nicotine. The symptoms usually pass in about 2 weeks.
- Don't offer advice. Just ask how you can help with the plan or program they are using.