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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 1-866-412-8795. Please have your UT SELECT BCBSTX insurance card available as the licensed wellness coaches will ask for your Benefit ID.

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.

  • 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.

Resources available at your UT Institution:

  • University of Texas at Austin: Learn about the tobacco cessation programs, resources and tools available to you at your institution at http://sites.utexas.edu/tobaccofree/staff-faculty-cessation-resources.
  • University of Texas at El Paso: Learn about the tobacco cessation programs, resources and tools available to you at UT EP at http://tobaccofree.utep.edu.  
  • UT Health Northeast at Tyler: UTHealth Northeast offer a no-cost self or doctor referred smoking cessation group on Mondays at 10am in E416. The program is one hour each week, for as many times as they want to come.  Learn more by contacting Dr. Wortz office and inquire about the tobacco cessation programs at (903) 877-8845.
  • UT Health Science Center San Antonio: Faculty, staff and students is available to participate in one on one Smoking Cessation Counseling with health care providers to determine what cessation product is best for the patient based on health history. They have access to screening tools used to measure smokers’ lung functions. Visit the Employee Health Wellness Center Clinic http://ehwc.uthscsa.edu.
  • UTMB Health: Learn about the tobacco cessation programs, resources and tools available to you at UTMB Health – Commit to Quit at http://hr.utmb.edu/hpw/commit_to_quit.aspx.
  • UT MD Anderson Cancer Center: Learn about the tobacco cessation programs, resources and tools available to you at your institution at http://inside.mdanderson.org/education/tobacco-treatment-program/index.html.  
  • University of Texas at San Antonio: Learn about the tobacco cessation programs, resources and tools available to you at your institution by the “Quit for Life” Tobacco Cessation Program at UTSA by contacting the program administrator at wellness@utsa.edu or (210) 458-5304 or (210) 458-5250.
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center: Learn about the tobacco cessation programs, resources and tools available to you at your institution at the UT Southwestern Medical Center Intranet Website (you will need to log into employee platform to access the following website): http://www.utsouthwestern.net/intranet/hr/benefits/wellness.  
  • University of Texas at Tyler: Learn about the tobacco cessation programs, resources and tools available to you at your institution at http://www.uttyler.edu/human-resources/wellness/tobacco-cessation/employees.php.
  • UTHealth at Houston: Learn about the tobacco cessation programs, resources and tools available to you at UTHealth https://inside.uth.edu/ut-counseling/getuthealthy/index.htm.

 

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.

 

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