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Does insurance pay for any of the smoking cessation programs or products?

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) published recommendations for insurers and managed care organizations to cover tobacco dependence treatments, both counseling and pharmacotherapy, for their subscribers or members of health insurance packages. If you have questions about your insurance coverage, contact your insurance provider and ask them for information. Even if there is no coverage for a smoking cessation program, you should check into payment or partial payment for smoking cessation products.

Medicare covers people who are on Medicare and are diagnosed with a smoking-related illness or are taking medications that may be affected by tobacco. (Question 82 addresses the impact of smoking on the liver.) Medicare will cover up to eight face-to-face visits during a twelve-month period. These visits must be ordered by a physician and provided by a Medicare-recognized practitioner. Medicare will pay 20% of the approved amount after you meet the yearly Part B deductible.

What are the benefits of enrolling in a smoking cessation program, and what is the average length of stay of a smoking cessation program?

The success rate increases to 32.5% when a person is enrolled in a more intensive smoking cessation program while also taking anti-smoking addiction medications. The benefits of a smoking cessation program include support, education, and guidance to deal with the psychological and behavioral aspects of nicotine withdrawal. The medications take care of the physiological symptoms of withdrawal.

The American Cancer Society states that there is a strong link between the intensity of an anti-smoking program and success rates. Generally, the more intense the program is, the greater the chance for success. Intensity may include more time in treatment, more or longer sessions, or an increased number of weeks of participation. When considering a program, look for one that has the following:

The length of each session should be at least 20 to 30 minutes.

The number of sessions should be at least four to seven.

The program should last at least two weeks.

Quit-smoking programs that involve more than 90 minutes and up to 300 minutes can increase the success rate of quitting up to 28%, regardless of the method of quitting, and programs that involve eight or more sessions can increase the quit rates up to 24.7%.

Inpatient programs can be found in various parts of the country. Inpatient programs are considered the most intense of all smoking cessation programs. One inpatient smoking cessation program is an eight-day program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. This residential program helps severely addicted smokers stop smoking. In a clinical study, it was found that inpatient treatment was more effective for participants who were moderately to severely addicted smokers. Another inpatient program is run by The Seventh Day Adventists, who have a smoking cessation program at the St. Helena Health Center and Hospital, Napa Valley, California. This residential program is over 30 years old. Each stop smoking session lasts a week. During admission, a physical assessment is conducted on each smoker to include lung capacity. Blood and urine tests are done to monitor the adequacy of the dose for those participants using nicotine replacement medications to eliminate withdrawal symptoms. The treatment program is holistic, which includes fluids (namely fruit juices), many fresh fruits and vegetables, and no red meat, chicken, or fish. Massage is combined with exercise in a gym and/or swimming pool, and long walks every morning. An exercise therapist assists participants to increase their endurance, and a nutritionist is available to help participants control the potential weight gain. Group work includes health education and group counseling. There is the option to receive individual counseling, if requested. Both programs are examples of intense smoking cessations programs, which have had a high degree of success.

Joseph's comment:

I find a class like "smoking cessations" a very beneficial way to quit smoking because of the group environment. This allows you to work on the problem with others. Our classes were one hour long, which I felt was a good amount of time to give everyone a chance to share how they were doing and share their tools with other members of the group. Tools included hearing slogans like "You're one away from a pack day" to calling the facilitator if I was having a tough day.

 
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