Thankfully, there are many low- to no-cost resources to help you quit smoking; even expensive medication can often be obtained at discounted prices. Here are seven tips for making quitting cost less.
1. Check your insurance policy.
In a 2002 survey by America's Health Insurance Plans, a national association that represents the health insurance industry, a majority of insurers reported providing full coverage for some form of smoking-cessation treatment. More than 40% of the companies who responded to the survey also reported full coverage for bupropion (Zyban), one of the leading smoking-cessation drugs.
2. Take advantage of free counseling and support services.
Once you’ve decided to quit, you’ll have a much greater chance of success if you plan ahead and get some sort of support, says Bill Blatt, manager of tobacco control programs for the American Lung Association. Fortunately, getting a plana personalized one, at thatis free. To get yours, call the national quit line at 800-QUIT-NOW, which automatically connects you to a quit specialist in your state. The counselor will ask you about your smoking habits and can help you determine which aids (gum, drugs, patches, etc.) might be worth a try.
Local chapters of the American Lung Association have low-cost group clinics in cities across the country. "Depending on where you live, there’s a $75 to $150 registration fee, but we encourage the local chapters to avoid turning people away due to financial problems," says Blatt. In other words, don’t be afraid to mention it if the cost is prohibitive. Another option: the American Lung Association’s online program, Freedom From Smoking. For more information about both, go to LungUSA.org.
The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and other nonprofits such as the YMCA may also conduct programs in your area.