Get help with quitting tobacco

Year after year, quitting tobacco is one of the most common, and difficult to achieve, New Year’s resolutions. According to data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Medicaid members in Wisconsin smoke at nearly double the state average of 17 percent. However, help is available to assist in quitting.

I’m aware as a registered nurse that the odds of successfully quitting tobacco quadruple when you combine counseling and medications. That’s why I encourage Medicaid members to take advantage of the many Food and Drug Administration-approved tobacco cessation medications that are covered by the benefit, including Nicotine lozenge, patch and gum, Chantix and Buproprion SR.

In addition to the covered medications, other important features of the benefit include:

— Repeated courses of treatment are allowed;

— There are no co-pays for tobacco cessation;

— Evaluation and management visits for tobacco cessation are covered.

The benefits of quitting tobacco are numerous including a reduction in cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory disease. You can also protect your loved ones from the harm that comes from secondhand smoke.  Taking that first step can be hard, but the benefits of quitting are many.

Please don’t give up trying to quit tobacco. It will be the best New Year’s Resolution you can give yourself and your loved ones. In addition to the Medicaid Benefit, Medicaid members and all tobacco users ready to quit can call 1-800-QUIT NOW for free quit tobacco help and medications.