If you need extra support when you’re ready to quit using tobacco, the UT SELECT Medical plan covers a variety of options at no out-of-pocket cost* to help you succeed. According to the CDC, the available tobacco cessation options, which include counseling services, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and other medications, have all been shown to be effective for smokers who want extra help to quit.
When you stop smoking or using other forms of tobacco your body has to adjust to no longer having nicotine. Withdrawal from nicotine is different for everyone and it can be uncomfortable. Fortunately, for most people the worst of the symptoms last only a few days to a couple of weeks. Most people slip back into using tobacco within the first week of trying to quit, when the discomfort of withdrawal is the strongest. This is the time when extra resources can be most helpful in dealing with challenges like having trouble sleeping, irritability, restlessness, trouble concentrating, weight gain due to increased hunger, and others.
Talk to Your Doctor about Your Plans to Quit Tobacco
It’s 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 help you succeed. Remember that quitting "cold turkey" isn’t your only choice.
When considering quitting, 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 or adjust some of your medications after you quit.
All of the approaches discussed below have been shown to be beneficial in supporting those who are trying to quit tobacco. Ask your doctor for help deciding which approach and resources might work best for you.
Professional Counseling and Support
Quitting smoking takes desire, determination, and support. Through your UT SELECT Medical plan you can request a free, motivational toolkit to help you when you’re ready to take steps toward this major lifestyle change. Guidance and support from licensed wellness coaches is also available by calling (866) 412-8795 .
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine cessation products—also called nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)—have a little bit of nicotine but much less than a cigarette. And NRT products do not contain the hundreds of other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. Using NRT can help you handle the physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal by allowing you to gradually reduce your nicotine intake over time rather than stopping outright. This satisfies your nicotine craving and lessens your urge to smoke.
Some NRT products, such as skin patches , gum , or lozenges , are available over-the-counter without a prescription. However, to obtain them with no out-of-pocket cost* under your UT SELECT coverage, they must be dispensed by a mail or retail pharmacy with an appropriate prescription. Covered nicotine inhalers and nose sprays, which always require a prescription, can also be purchased for no out-of-pocket cost.*
Medications without Nicotine
The use of FDA approved medications can significantly increase your chances of quitting for good. Some medications, available only with a prescription, help withdrawal symptoms and nicotine cravings, but don’t contain nicotine. Products like Chantix and Zyban help by reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms and reducing the urge to smoke. Both are available with no out-of-pocket costs* with a prescription specific to smoking cessation. See your doctor to talk about your plan to quit tobacco and to get a prescription if medication is the best option for you.
* NRT products and other smoking cessation medications are available with no out-of-pocket cost up to certain limits, generally a 90-day supply or in limited cases a 180-day supply within any 365-day period. These quantities are in line with the recommended guidelines for use of these products and medications.