Nov. 17, 2006
Break the cigarette habit
A climb up a flight of stairs leaves you out of breath. Your husband, wife, or children complain because you smell like stale tobacco. The amount of money you spend each year on cigarettes surpasses the cost of a family vacation.
Without question, these effects of smoking — and the fact that smoking causes lung and other cancers, chronic lung disease, and heart disease — provide plenty of impetus to kick the cigarette habit.
Still, breaking an addiction to cigarettes and nicotine is difficult, even for someone who is highly motivated to do so. Fortunately, an array of services is available to UPMC staff members to help them when they’re ready to quit and begin enjoying a smoke-free life.
Smoking cessation resources available to staff members and adult dependents who belong to UPMC Health Plan are:
- The My Health Ready to Quit Line at 1-800-807-0751 connects you to highly trained coaches who can help you develop a personalized plan for quitting, discuss effective smoking cessation strategies that can work for you, and provide support and guidance.
- An interactive program, Ready, Set, Stop (PDF) is available through My Health OnLine (www.upmchealthplan.com).
- Medications can assist you in your efforts to quit smoking. The Health Plan provides coverage for patches, gum, lozenges, nasal spray, inhalers, and tablets, all of which are safe and can relieve the discomfort that can accompany the adjustments to a cigarette-free life.
Other smoking cessation programs and assistance offered to all UPMC employees include:
- Weekly, 30-minute group smoking cessation sessions are offered at many UPMC hospitals and facilities. Employees may participate at any site. To learn more, call 1-800-807-0751. All employees and their adult dependents thinking about quitting or getting ready to quit may attend these sessions.
- All UPMC staff members may call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762) for information about smoking cessation classes in their communities.
- My Health Connections are brief presentations on a variety of health promotion topics that may be offered in the workplace. “Quitting: Why It’s Hard and How to Make It Easier” provides motivational messages and highlights My Health resources. “Be a Smokeout Partner” provides education and guidance to nonsmokers who are interested in supporting a relative, friend, or colleague who is trying to quit.
- Ready to try quitting on your own? A self-help guide titled Journey to a Smoke-Free Life (PDF) can be downloaded from the UPMC Patient Education page.
Watch upcoming issues of Extra! for more information about smoking cessation.
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