Commentary

January 9, 2015
 

Want to quit smoking? Here’s how

Stuart Bapties
Robins AFB Health and Wellness Center director
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter)
Many people welcome a new year with plans to eat healthier or quit smoking. The Health and Wellness Center (HAWC) offers many programs to help Airmen and their families break bad habits and get on track to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — By using the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, all federal employees and retirees – as well as their spouses and dependents – have full access to evidence-based tobacco cessation treatments at no out-of-pocket cost.

FEHB covers an estimated 8 million people, including 2.2 million active federal employees, 1.9 million retirees, and almost 4 million spouses and dependents. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management estimates that about 18 percent of current federal employees – or about 400,000 people – smoke, compared with about 20 percent of the general population.

FEHB enrollees who smoke now have access to the kind of cessation treatments that help smokers quit for good.

All FEHB health plans are required to cover the seven FDA-approved cessation medications and individual, group and telephone counseling – the treatments identified as effective in the U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline ‘Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2014 Update.’

The health plans are required to offer coverage with no copayments, coinsurance, deductibles or annual/lifetime dollar limits.

While medications and counseling can each be effective on their own, they’re even more effective when used in combination. Tobacco users who use both medications and counseling can potentially double to triple their chances of quitting successfully.

FEHB plans are required to cover at least two quit attempts per year, with a minimum of four counseling sessions of at least 30 minutes for each attempt.

However, the new benefit won’t cover over-the-counter medications that are purchased directly by enrollees, only those medications that are prescribed as part of a doctor’s visit or as part of a cessation program are covered.

The FDA-approved first-line medications are as follows:

· Bupropion SR (Zyban)

· Nicotine gum

· Nicotine inhaler

· Nicotine lozenge

· Nicotine nasal spray

· Nicotine patch

· Varenicline (Chantix)




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Classs Kristine Legate

WHYP it into shape

Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Classs Kristine Legate We Have Your Pace members pace a U.S. Air Force Airman during the run portion of a physical fitness test at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 25, 2018. WHYP is t...
 
 
af-marathon

Air Force Marathon makes major changes for 2019

Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Holly Ardern Runners participate in the 2018 Air Force Marathon. The Air Force Marathon opened registration for their 2019 event Jan. 1 with major changes designed to improve the experience...
 
 

ACC highlights Air Force Outstanding Unit Award winners

The commander of Air Combat Command, Gen. James M. Holmes, commander, recently announced the ACC winners of the 2018 ACC Air Force Outstanding Unit award and Air Force Organizational Excellence award: Air Force Outstanding Unit award winners: 12th Air Force, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 1, 2017-May 31, 2018 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air...