November 22, 2019

Tobacco Cessation Support

Tobacco Dependency Treatment Program

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Every year, smoking kills over 400,000 Americans. Both the risk and severity of many diseases caused by smoking are directly related to how long the smoker has smoked and the number of cigarettes smoked per day. There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke.  Any exposure to tobacco smoke, even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke is HARMFUL! 

There is no safe cigarette including vapes or e-cigarettes. The newest nicotine delivery device JUUL has been on the market for over seven years and has become the most popular e-cigarette today. The majority of JUUL users are youth ages 17 and under. The JUUL e-cigarette looks like a USB device and can be easily concealed. One JUUL pod equals the same nicotine content as a pack of combustible tobacco cigarettes. To learn more about vaping and youth addiction visit  Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids  .  If you know a youth who is using e-cigarettes or vapes and wants to quit, there is a cessation program just for them:  Truth Initiative  or National Jewish Health .

E-cigarettes or vaping products have been linked to over 1,000 cases of severe lung injuries and over 26 deaths throughout the country.  For more information about this outbreak: CDC E-Cigarette Illnesses and Deaths

To learn more about Vaping and Youth addiction: Tobacco Free Kids, Truth Initiative or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.    

Smoking can cost an individual up to $2 million dollars during their lifetime including the cost of tobacco, health care cost, loss of income, and other costs including homeowner's insurance premiums. 

Quitting smoking has both immediate and long term health benefits.

  • Your heart rate and blood pressure decreases within 20 minutes.
  • The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal within 12 hours.National Jewish Health
  • Within 3 months, your circulation and lung function improves.
  • You will cough less and breathe easier within 9 months.
  • The risk of having a heart attack or developing coronary heart disease is cut in half after 1 year,
  • After 2 to 5 years, the chance of a stroke can fall to about the same as a non-smoker's.
  • Your risk of mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder cancer are cut in half after 5 years.
  • The risk for dying from lung cancer drops by half after 10 years.
  • After 10 years, getting larynx or pancreatic cancer also decreases.
  • Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker's after 15 years. 

It is never too late to QUIT!  A tobacco smoker who quits also improves the short and long term health of those around them by eliminating second hand smoke. Every Try Counts! That is why it is so important to find what works best for you. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, counseling and medication combined are more effective than using either one alone. The Making Life Healthy program and Community Health Services have partnered to provide several options to help employees and their family members, quit cigarette smoking or the use of other tobacco/nicotine products.                                   

Main Line Health's SmokeFREE Program is FREE to help tobacco users quit tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes (vaping) at various locations throughout the year through MLH Community Services and Equity. Programs are offered in group and individual settings. For more information or to register for a program in Delaware County please contact: Barbara Siso . For Chester or Montgomery County please contact: Kara Chivalette .    

  • ActiveHealth offers telephonic health coaching for tobacco cessation. You can register for this program by calling ActiveHealth at 855-202-3999.  
  • Main Line Health Support Groups:
    • Individuals who have attended a Tobacco Dependency Treatment Program and want additional support to remain tobacco free, please visit Nicotine Anonymous  at: Nicotine Anonymous 
  • Additional Resources:
  • American Lung Association: Answers questions and provides information about cessation programs. 
  • Pennsylvania FREE Quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW. 
  • American Heart Association: Answers questions, provides tips and resources about quitting.
  • Centers of Disease Control and Prevention: Provides resources for quitting and more.
  • American Cancer Society: Answers questions and assists with enrollment in a cessation program.
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services: Provides information on quitting, mobile apps, and more.  
  • U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) : Provides information and updates on the regulation of tobacco products.  
  • Smoking and Tobacco Events:  The Great American Smokeout is held on the third Thursday in November each year encouraging smokers to stop smoking on that day. Kick Butts Day is a day when youth stand up to the BIG tobacco companies and voice their opposition to being the targeted generation of new smokers. World No Tobacco Day is held on May 31st each year, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and encourage governments to adopt effective policies to reduce smoking and other tobacco use.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                             You Can Quit!                                                                                        

                                                                                   

Non-Tobacco/Nicotine Discount:

Main Line Health provides a Non-Tobacco/Nicotine discount on their medical plan contributions for employees who certify as non-tobacco/nicotine users during benefits enrollment.  All employees are required to certify as to their tobacco status when completing benefits enrollment each year.  hey must select one of the three following options:

  • I certify that I am NOT currently using Tobacco and/or Nicotine products. Employees who select this option will receive a non-tobacco discount of $20/pay on their medical plan contributions.
  • I certify that I am currently using Tobacco and/or Nicotine products. Employees who select this option will pay the standard rate for medical plan contributions. 
  • I certify that I am currently using Tobacco and/or Nicotine products, and that I "Plan to Quit". Employees who select this option will pay the standard rate for medical plan contributions, until they complete all requirements listed below.  They will then receive the non-tobacco/nicotine discount for the entire plan year.

Employees who select the Plan to Quit option during open enrollment must enroll in an approved tobacco cessation within 30 days of selecting this option, and must complete:

  • at least 5 of the 6 scheduled classes for the SmokeFREE program offered by MLH Community Health;        OR
  • at least 5 calls with the Active HealthTelephonic tobacco cessation coaching program by September 30, 2019

Eligibility for Making Life Healthy Rewards:

Employees who certify as tobacco users or who select the Plan to Quit option, are not eligible for Making Life Healthy Rewards.  Any employee who successfully quits using tobacco, can have their tobacco status changed by following the steps below:

  • Contact your Benefits Counselor to request the Tobacco Status Change form.  
  • Complete the form which certifies that you have been tobacco/nicotine free for at least 60 days.
  • Contact Occupational Health to schedule a nicotine screening.  
  • Complete the screening with a negatve result.
  • The Benefits Counselor will then submit your resuls to HRIS to have your status changed to a Non-tobacco/nicotine user. 
  • You will begin receiving the non-tobacco discount for the remainder of the plan year, and will recieve a one-time retroactive reimbursement for the amount of the discount for all pay periods since January 1.

Review the Tobacco Use Impact on Employment Policy for more information, or contact your Benefits Counselor with questions. 

Medication Support:  Nicotine Replacement Therapy and certain prescription medications are covered, free of charge, to employees and family members (18 and older) covered under a Main Line Health medical plan.

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)  - is covered in full at no costs to members, with a prescription from a physician.  Includes patches, gum, lozenges. 
  • Generic Zyban (Buproprion) - is covered in full at no cost to members, with a prescription from a physician. Includes patches, gum, lozenges.   
  • Nicotrol nasal spray and nicotrol inhaler - is covered in full at no cost to members, with a prescription from a physician. Includes patches, gum, lozenges.     
  • Chantix is also covered in full at no cost to members, with a prescription from a physician. Includes patches, gum, lozenges.      

All medications and NRT require a prescription.  

Contact the Main Line Health pharmacy (484)-337-3600 for questions about tobacco cessation programs or nicotine replacement therapies.