This blog is the most recent in a series helping members of the Coast Guard family understand how to use their TRICARE benefits. The blog series will continue every Monday, right here on Coast Guard All Hands.
Written by Cmdr. Paul Fawcett
Stopping tobacco use can be extremely challenging undertaking, but one which will improve your health greatly. Benefits include: breathing easier, improved sense of taste and smell and reduced risk of heart disease and cancer over time. There are many resources and programs available to help you kick the habit.
Tobacco Cessation Products
Among TRICARE’ range of covered options for tobacco cessation includes tobacco cessation products. Covered products include Chantix, Nicotrol nasal spray, Nicoderm CQ and Habitrol “patches”, Nicotine gum of various brands, and Nicotine lozenges. You can get these products from military pharmacies and through the TRICARE Mail Order Pharmacy program. These products are available to any beneficiary 18 years and older at no cost. However you must have a prescription to get them and so should see your primary care manager to discuss this program. Coast Guard Pharmacy Officers are also a good resource for active duty members considering quitting smoking.
Tobacco Cessation Counseling
TRICARE will pay for tobacco cessation counseling from a TRICARE authorized provider for up to 18 counseling sessions per quit attempt, including 4 individual sessions. In the event that you need multiple attempts to quit smoking TRICARE will pay for two attempts per fiscal year, a third attempt may be paid for if you get authorization from your primary care manager. Contract your regional TRICARE contractor for more information about tobacco cessation counseling. You can also get information from the TRICARE tobacco cessation counseling page.
TRICARE Tobacco Quitline
TRICARE offers a toll free live tobacco quit phone line open 24 hours a day. Counselors on this line can help identify resources in the area for you are struggling with tobacco addiction. Phone numbers for this line are:
- TRICARE North Region: 1-866-459-8766
- TRICARE South Region: 1-877-414-9949
- TRICARE West Region: 1-888-713-4597
UCANQUIT2: UCANQUIT2 is a DOD sponsored tobacco cessation program that is available to Coast Guard beneficiaries. The program website http://www.ucanquit2.org/ includes live support from tobacco cessation coaches, a calculator to help you compute savings from quitting smoking, a live chat function, and other tools.
TRICARE TV: TRICARE TV, an online video resource, also provides tools and resources to help you quit tobacco use.
Stopping tobacco use isn’t impossible, but it’s tough to do alone. You don’t need to struggle without help; there are many programs available from TRICARE and the Coast Guard to assist you.
We know you can do it! Set your quit date for November 17, 2016 – the Great American Smokeout.
Q: What’s the official Coast Guard Policy on tobacco use for Active Duty and Reserve members?
A: Coast Guard policy on tobacco use is to discourage the use of all forms of tobacco. Specific policy details are spelled out in the Coast Guard Health Promotion Manual, COMDTINST M6200.1C.
Q: Does the Coast Guard have a Tobacco Cessation Program?
A: Yes. You can get more information from the CG Office of Work Life Tobacco Cessation page, or by contacting your CG Primary Care Manager.
Q: Where can I find information about the TRICARE Tobacco cessation program?
A: You can visit the TRICARE Tobacco Cessation page; you can also see the TRICARE Tobacco cessation Program fact sheet for detailed information.
Q: Are there other instructions that Coast Guard Active Duty members quitting smoking should be aware of?
A: Yes, you should also review Chapter 5.C of the Weight and Body Fat Standards Program, COMDTINST M1020.8H
As always, for TRICARE questions, please contact the USCG Health Benefits Assistance line at 1-800-9-HBA-HBA or CGHBA@uscg.mil . You can also leave us a comment below!