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Special Initiatives Quit Smoking

There has never been a better time to quit tobacco. All FEHB plans offer 100% coverage to help you quit once and for all.

Tobacco users who quit greatly reduce their risk for disease and premature death, improve their health and quality of life, and increase their life expectancy. Quitting tobacco results in both immediate and long-term health benefits. While health benefits are greater for tobacco users who stop at earlier ages, cessation is beneficial at all ages. Quitting smoking is the single most important action that smokers can take to protect their own and their families’ health. Just two to three weeks after quitting, breathing becomes easier and after a year, the risk for heart disease is lowered by 50 percent. Eliminating second hand smoke from the house also decreases the risk for heart attacks and asthma in non-smokers. For pregnant women, quitting smoking greatly increases the chances that they will give birth to a healthy baby.

For more information visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Smokefree website.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • All FEHB plans must cover:
    • Four tobacco cessation counseling sessions of at least 30 minutes for at least two quit attempts per year. This includes proactive telephone counseling, group counseling and individual counseling.
    • All 7 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -approved tobacco cessation medications with a doctor's prescription.
    • These benefits must be provided with no copayments or coinsurance and not subject to deductibles, annual or life time dollar limits.
  • Yes. Anyone covered under an FEHB Program health plan (including covered family members for those with a Self and Family enrollment) can take advantage of the benefit. If you are not enrolled in an FEHB Program health insurance plan you and your family members will not have access to the benefit. You may enroll in an FEHB Program health plan during the annual Open Season. If are already enrolled in FEHB, you do not need to take any action to take advantage of the  tobacco cessation benefit .
  • With the tobacco cessation benefit you don’t need to "go it alone" to quit. Quitting tobacco can be very difficult. Most users try to quit several times before succeeding. Those trying to quit may relapse because of stress, weight gain, and withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and increased appetite.

    However, the FEHB benefit can help! The benefit gives you access to proven cessation treatments that can ease withdrawal symptoms and help you succeed in quitting.

    Different medications and different forms of counseling work for different people. One size doesn’t fit all. Now you have options available to find the specific treatment or combination of treatments that best suits your needs and gives you the best chance of quitting for good.
  • All FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications are: covered with a doctor's prescription. For more information contact your health plan or consult your plan’s brochure.
  • Yes, in order to receive over-the-counter drugs with no copays and coinsurance, you must get a prescription from your doctor or receive the drugs as part of a plan-approved tobacco cessation program. For more information contact your health plan or consult your plan’s brochure.
  • For more information on how to access the benefit contact your health plan or consult your plan’s brochure.
  • Yes. The benefit covers treatment for all forms of tobacco use, including cigarettes, snuff, and chewing tobacco.
  • Anyone covered under the FEHB Program can take advantage of the benefit. No matter what plan you choose to enroll in, the plan will provide comprehensive coverage.
  • For support in quitting, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to local resources, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669); TTY 1-800-332-8615.
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