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Succeeding at Smoking Cessation

April 12, 2011, Volume 57, No. 29

Kicking the smoking habit can be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done—but also one of the most rewarding. That’s why Penn’s Quit Smoking program is here to help. 

Maybe you’ve tried to quit before but slipped back into the habit. Or you want to quit but don’t know how to get started. Our Quit Smoking program offers a variety of resources that can help you become—and stay—nicotine free.

Participate in a Smoking Cessation Research Study

Starting this May, the School of Medicine’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction (CIRNA) Center will run monthly information sessions about their new smoking cessation research study: MAPS for Quitting Smoking. At these sessions, you’ll hear about readiness to quit, the quit smoking process, the components of the MAPS for Quitting Smoking program and the options for applying to participate in the study.

If you’re selected for the research study, you’ll be reimbursed for your time and effort. In addition, you’ll receive the following at no cost:

• Nicotine replacement therapy

• Smoking cessation counseling, including an online component

You’re encouraged to pre-register for the information sessions by visiting the course catalog. Please contact Penn Human Resources at qowl@hr.upenn.edu or (215) 898-5116 for additional information or assistance with pre-registering. You may also contact the Tobacco Use Research Center/CIRNA at (215) 746-8560 to learn more about this program and to find out if you’d be eligible to participate in the study.

Enroll in the Penn Smoking Treatment Program

The Penn Smoking Treatment Program provides state-of-the-art and individualized treatment for smokers, including those with co-morbidities. It involves an initial evaluation visit with both a counselor and a physician, during which they construct a plan for ongoing care based on your history.  This is a great resource for individuals who want one-on-one support. (Note: You’ll need to contact your insurance provider to see if a referral is required by a primary care doctor. Specialist visit copays apply.)  For more information about the Penn Smoking Treatment Program, please visit www.pennmedicine.org/lung/services/smoking.html.

Learn about Other Smoking Cessation Resources

You can find a number of quit smoking resources online and in the Philadelphia area to help you on your way to being smoke free. Some examples of online support include www.smokefreephilly.org and www.determinedtoquit.com. Visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/wellness/smokingcessation.aspx for additional options.

Save Money on Quit Smoking Expenses through Penn’s Healthcare Benefits

To support you in your efforts to kick the habit, Penn’s healthcare benefits offer a variety of ways for you to save money on quit smoking expenses such as medications and nicotine replacement products.

• Penn’s prescription drug plan offers discounted 90-day supplies of smoking cessation medications such as Zyban and Chantix through the CVS Caremark mail order program. Bupropion, the generic equivalent of Zyban, can be purchased for as little as $13.41 for a 90-day supply.  CVS Caremark also offers a 20% discount for CVS brand, over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies if you use a CVS Extra Care Card at the time of purchase. For more information on Penn’s prescription plan, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/Benefits/Medical/Prescription.aspx

• Independence Blue Cross reimburses members up to $200 per year in expenses associated with trying to quit smoking. Members must enroll with Healthy Lifestyles prior to starting the smoking cessation program. Eligible smoking cessation aids include nicotine replacement products (e.g., gum, lozenge, inhaler) or prescribed medications (e.g., Chantix, Wellbutrin, Zyban). For more information or to enroll in Healthy Lifestyles, call 1-800-ASK-BLUE or go to the Health & Wellness section of www.ibxpress.com

• Penn’s Health Care Pre-Tax Expense Account reimburses costs for prescribed nicotine replacement aids and prescribed quit smoking medications if other reimbursement options do not apply. For more information, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/Benefits/PreTax/HealthCare.aspx

Division of Human Resources

Related: Penn Dental Medicine's 3rd Annual Oral Cancer Walk April 16


Almanac - April 12, 2011, Volume 57, No. 29