Information about Clinics to Help You Quit Smoking
Attending a quit smoking clinic may sound unnecessary, and for some, it may very well be. However, some smokers find it hard to quit smoking without more structured support and guidanceand that is where the services of a quit smoking clinic can come in.
What Happens at a Quit Smoking Clinic?
You'll first meet with a trained medical professional to discuss your options for quitting smoking. Various different clinics offer a range of options, so it can be useful to find out about these before you make an appointment with a particular one. For example, not all clinics offer ongoing psychological support such as counseling or group sessions, but you might need this extra support if you're a long-time smoker.
In your first session you'll go over your cessation options, which typically include the use of nicotine gum, patches, and other nicotine replacement options, as well as non-nicotine medications such as Chantix (varenicline). Some clinics also offer a "cold turkey" option that allows you to quit without the use of any aids, but provides you with psychological support in the form of counseling.
Subsequent sessions will provide you with the opportunity to discuss your progress with a counselor. These sessions are invaluable for identifying thoughts, emotions, and situations that trigger nicotine cravings, and for developing strategies to help you cope with them.
Insurance Coverage for Quit Smoking Clinics
Will your insurance cover your fees for a quit smoking clinic? In some cases, yes, but it really depends on your individual policy. It is wise to check with your insurer ahead of time. If you have prescription coverage, your insurance will usually also cover related prescriptionssuch as those for nicotine gum or patchesthat you may be prescribed.
How to Find a Quit Smoking Clinic in your Area
In any state, you can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) for referrals to local clinics and support services, as well as tips and coping strategies to help you quit.
Many workplaces provide help for people who want to quit smoking, by funding clinic programs or by providing on-site clinics and support. Alternatively, ask your doctor whether he or she can recommend any clinics in your area.
Sources: The Mayo Clinic Stop Smoking Services. Accessed 24 June 2011.
Patrick Zickler for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. March 2006. Combination Treatment for One Year Doubles Smokers' Quit Rate. Accessed 24 June 2011.
Smokefree.gov Preparing to Quit. Accessed 24 June 2011.
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Stop Smoking Clinic. Accessed 24 June 2011.