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Living Well: Make it a Priority

Quit Smoking Today! We Can Help. | En Español |

Free Smoking/Tobacco Cessation Program available to all UT SELECT members:

Every year in the U.S. over 392,000 people die from tobacco-caused disease, making it the leading cause of preventable death. Another 50,000 people die from exposure to secondhand smoke. Tragically, each day thousands of kids still pick up a cigarette for the first time. The cycle of addiction, illness and death continues. What can be done to stop smoking? The University of Texas System is committed to helping smokers quit by offering our UT SELECT medical covered members with Free Smoking/Tobacco Cessation Programs, Pharmaceutical Therapy and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). 

Using these pharmaceutical therapy and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in conjunction with professional counseling can double your chances of quitting for good. Ask your doctor for help. But remember: Medicine alone can't do all the work. It can help with cravings and withdrawal, but quitting will still be hard at times.

Talking to an Expert (Professional Counseling):

By Telephone

  • UT SELECT Medical Health Plan- FREE Tobacco Cessation Professional Counseling Program. Quitting smoking takes desire, determination and support. That’s why UT SELECT has developed a motivational toolkit that can help members who are ready to take steps toward this major lifestyle change. Guidance and support with licensed wellness coaches is available by calling 1-800-462-3275. 

  • National Cancer Institute. Call from anywhere: 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)

    • Smoking cessation counselors from the National Cancer Institute are available to answer smoking-related questions in English or Spanish, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

  • Help within Texas: Texas Quitline 1-877-YES-QUIT (1-877-937-7848) or visit
    • This toll-free telephone number connects you to counseling and information about quitting smoking in Texas. http://yesquit.com

  • For military personnel and their families
    • Quit smoking resources and education for members of the U.S. military and their families, sponsored by the Department of Defense. Quit Tobacco. Make Everyone Proud

Pharmaceutical Therapy and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT):

Using these pharmaceutical therapy and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in conjunction with professional counseling can double your chances of quitting for good. Ask your doctor for help. But remember: Medicine alone can't do all the work. It can help with cravings and withdrawal, but quitting will still be hard at times.

  • NEW for Plan Year 2011-2012! The UT SELECT Prescription Drug plan covers the following medications at a $0 copayment when they are used for prevention as noted. To receive these medications at a $0 copayment, you must have an authorized prescription for the product and it must be dispensed by a participating mail or retail pharmacy.

    - Nicotrol NS: 90-day supply in any 365-day period.
    - Nicotrol Inhaler: 90-day supply in any 365-day period.
    - Zyban: 90-day supply in any 365-day period.
    - Nicorette Gum /Lozenge: 90-day supply in any 365-day period.
    - Nicotine Transdermal System: 90-day supply in any 365-day period.
    - Chantix: 180-days supply in any 365-day period.

Learn more about medications to help you quit

When you quit smoking, you may feel strange at first. You may feel dull, tense, and not yourself. These are signs that your body is getting used to life without nicotine. It usually only lasts 1 or 2 weeks.

Many people just can't handle how they feel after they quit. They start smoking again to feel better. Maybe this has happened to you. Most people slip up in the first week after quitting. This is when feelings of withdrawal are strongest.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved medicines to reduce withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke. These FDA-approved medicines can help with feelings of withdrawal:

  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine inhaler
  • Nicotine nose spray
  • Nicotine skin patch

Using these medicines can double your chances of quitting for good. Ask your doctor for help. But remember: Medicine alone can't do all the work. It can help with cravings and withdrawal, but quitting will still be hard at times.

Medicines with nicotine

Nicotine cessation products—also called nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)—have a little bit of nicotine but not the hundreds of other harmful chemicals that are in cigarettes. NRT helps you handle the physical symptoms of quitting by giving you much less nicotine than a cigarette. This satisfies your nicotine craving and lessens your urge to smoke. You can buy some NRT medicines without a prescription from your doctor. These include a skin patch, gum, or lozenges with nicotine. Nicotine inhalers and nose sprays are available only by prescription. Also see Myths about NRT (PDF).

Medicines without nicotine

Some medicines that help withdrawal symptoms and nicotine cravings don’t have any nicotine. They help by reducing symptoms and smoking urges. A prescription is needed for these kinds of medicines. See your doctor to talk about your medication plan and to get a prescription.

For more information about current medications used by smokers who are trying to quit, visit the Medication Guide

Keep in mind…

Medications alone can’t do all the work. They can help with cravings and withdrawal, but they won’t completely stop withdrawal symptoms. Even if you use medication to help you stop smoking, quitting may still be hard at times. Many people find it helps to take medication and change their habits at the same time. For example, you can keep healthy snacks handy to beat cravings, limit time with smokers, and join a smoking cessation program. For other tips on how to stay focused on quitting, visit our Benefits of Quitting section, our Talk to an Expert page, and the Quit Guide.

Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit

It is important to tell your doctor when you are ready to quit—especially if you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or have a serious medical condition. Your doctor can help you connect with the right resources to make your quit attempt work. Remember—quitting "cold turkey" isn’t your only choice.

Make sure to let your doctor or pharmacist know what medications you are taking. Nicotine changes how some drugs work. Your doctor may need to change some of your medications after you quit. If you want to learn more about medications before you go to your doctor, read the summaries above and see the Medication Guide.

e-Learning

Fitness Over Forty, a series of video presentations targeting the increasing "over Forty” population, addresses health and fitness issues that are specific to men and women ages 25 to 54 and older. Dr. David Di Paolo, radiologist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler and nationally-certified fitness trainer, hosts the series featuring UT Health Science Center medical professionals who inform viewers about the benefits of a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Just go to http://www.uthct.edu/fitnessoverforty/archive.asp, and search for a topic that you are interested in.

 

UT MB Health- Employee Health Promotion Program: Commit To Quit

Commit to Quit Program provides a tailored tobacco cessation program to UTMB employees and community members. In addition, we provide tobacco education activities to help prevent individuals from ever starting to use tobacco to all UT MB Health members. For more details visit the Commit to Quit Program website.

UT Austin- Kick Butt Tobacco Cessation Program

Have you tried to quit using tobacco products before but need more help? Our onsite cessation classes help UT Austin employees and covered dependents kick the habit and support them on a path to a healthier life! For more information and to sign-up, visit our Kick Butt website.

Sizing-Up the Competition

Whether you smoke three cigarettes or three packs of cigarettes a day, kicking the habit is difficult. Over time; however, quitting smoking is the absolute most important thing you can do to improve your health. It reduces your risks for cancer and other diseases, such as heart and lung disease. Continue reading this article

Video: Quit to Win

Quitting tobacco isn't easy but it may be one of the most important steps you can take to protect your health. Learn the four fundamental steps to quitting tobacco for good. View this educational video

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