Want to Quit Tobacco? TRICARE Can Help

6/1/2020

You just threw out a pack of cigarettes. You’ve vowed never to smoke again. You know that using products, like cigarettes, vapes, and smokeless tobacco can be harmful to your health over time. Now what?

If you’re worried about a relapse, you’re not alone. According to the National Cancer Institute’s Smokefree.gov, quitting tobacco can be hard, and it may take several quit attempts before you reach your goal. But you’ve made a great decision. With TRICARE, you have access to a number of resources to help you quit tobacco, stay quit, and get your health back on track.

Tobacco Cessation Program

Tobacco cessation services are available to you as a TRICARE beneficiary. You can get covered prescription and over-the-counter products. In order to be eligible for these products, you must:

  • Have a prescription from a TRICARE-authorized provider, including when getting a covered over-the-counter product
  • Be age 18 or older and not eligible for Medicare
  • Be an active duty service member or active duty family member enrolled in TRICARE Overseas Program Prime if you live overseas

You can get covered tobacco cessation products at your local military pharmacy or with TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery. By using the home delivery option, you won’t have to leave your home to get your prescription or product. TRICARE doesn’t cover tobacco cessation products from retail network pharmacies.

Tobacco counseling services from a TRICARE-authorized providerAn authorized provider is any individual, institution/organization, or supplier that is licensed by a state, accredited by national organization, or meets other standards of the medical community, and is certified to provide benefits under TRICARE. There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network. DS are also covered, but only in the U.S. Learn more about covered products and services by downloading the TRICARE Tobacco Cessation Program Fact Sheet.

YouCanQuit2 Tobacco Education Campaign

YouCanQuit2, a Department of Defense program, is a tobacco education campaign for the military. The campaign helps service members quit tobacco—for themselves and their loved ones. With YouCanQuit2, you can find tips on sleeping better without nicotine, see how to quit if you live with a tobacco user, and use a calculator to see how much you can save by going tobacco free. The campaign also offers 24/7 live chat support from coaches. 

“Those who want to quit tobacco, including TRICARE beneficiaries, don’t have to go it alone,” said U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Kimberly Elenberg, chief of the Total Force Fitness branch at the Defense Health Agency. “YouCanQuit2 gives service members the information, motivation, and support to stay or become tobacco free for themselves, their families, and their units. Service members can start their tobacco-free journey today by visiting ycq2.org to access resources and chat with a live coach.”

Health Effects of Smoking

Smoking cigarettes can cause severe damage to your lungs and make you susceptible to respiratory diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who may be immunocompromised from smoking or vaping may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Staying Mentally Fit

The constant news of the coronavirus can be stressful. But how you choose to respond can make a huge difference for your mental health. Avoid using tobacco as a stress reliever. Instead, talk to someone you trust if you feel anxious or worried. There are a number of tips the CDC recommends for supporting your mental health, which include exercising and limiting news consumption. You also have health options to choose from while you practice social distancing. TRICARE covers telehealth services like therapy to help you avoid tobacco use and cope during the national health emergency due to the pandemic. Be sure to talk to your provider if you have questions about telehealth services.   

TRICARE is committed to helping you succeed in your attempt to quit tobacco. To learn more about tobacco cessation and available resources, you can check out the Military Health System Tobacco-Free Living page. Stay strong, and remember you can quit tobacco.

Last Updated 6/23/2020