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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 use results in both immediate and longer-term health benefits. While health benefits are greater for tobacco users who quit earlier in life, cessation is beneficial at any age. Quitting smoking is the single most important action that an individual can take to protect their health. Quitting smoking can add years to one’s life, reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, and increases the chances of having a healthy baby. Within month after quitting smoking, breathing becomes easier and coughing decreases. Within one to two years, the risk of heart attack drops sharply. Eliminating secondhand smoke from the home and vehicle also decreases the associated health consequences of others exposed to secondhand smoke.

For more information visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • All FEHB plans must cover:
      • At least two quit attempts per year with at least four tobacco cessation counseling sessions per quit attempt. These behavioral interventions include individual counseling, group counseling, and proactive telephone counseling.
      • All Food and Drug Administration (FDA)- approved tobacco cessation medications and over-the-counter tobacco cessation medications with a doctor's prescription or as part of a plan-approved tobacco cessation program. This includes combination nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
      • These benefits are provided with no copayments or coinsurance and not subject to deductibles or annual or life time dollar limits.
  • Yes. Anyone covered under an FEHB Program health plan (including covered family members for those with a Self Plus One or 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 additional 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 people try to quit several times before succeeding. Those trying to quit may relapse because of nicotine cravings 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. The combination of counseling and medication gives you the best chance of quitting successfully. 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, including combination nicotine replacement therapy. 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, e-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 free support in quitting, including coaching, a quit plan, educational materials, and referrals to local resources, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669); TTY 1-800-332-8615. For additional free information on how to quit and quitting resources, visit https://smokefree.gov/

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