Welfare Notes - November 2003

November, 2003

Cigarette smoking costs American businesses over $100 billion every year!! Over 30 million American adults want to quit smoking but lack either the motivation or the options available to help them.

Smoking is an addiction, more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are results of smoking related illnesses. Quitting smoking will cut the risks of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung and repertory diseases. Quitting can also save you a few dollars. A pack a day smoker can save about $1500 a year!

Many of the medical coverage plans offered through the SUP Welfare Plan offer participating members excellent programs for cessation of smoking. Members who live in the Pacific Northwest and are covered with Group Health or Kaiser Oregon have available to them an outstanding and well recognized program called “Free and Clear.” The Free and Clear program offers over the phone counseling and includes a personalized quit plan as well as all the materials you will need to quit. Free and clear may be reached by your Group Health or Kaiser membership services number or directly at 1-800-292-2336.

Those members covered by Kaiser Permanente groups are eligible for smoking cessation classes and groups through their Health Education Department. Kaiser programs may vary from facility to facility but do work with a structured curriculum that may include workbooks, group or one on one counseling, agreed upon quit dates, and class room activities. For more information from Kaiser about their smoking cessation plans you may reach them by phone, Northern and Southern California may be contacted at 1-800-464-4000. Kaiser Oregon at 1-800-813-2000. Kaiser Hawai’i may me reached at 1-800-966-5955.

Those members enrolled in Health Net coverage may participate in their Tobacco Cessation Program. They realize what a difficult decision this is and have created their “Quitting Matters” program. This program will assess your willingness to quit smoking, and then help and support you through the quitting process. Members enrolled in this program can quit on their own pace and will have access to a registered nurse for questions and advise during the quitting process. Health Net HMO subscribers can inquire on the program at 1-800-474-6515. PPO subscribers can call 1-800440-5741. Medicare members can call 1-800-337-7297. You may also obtain information on the Health Net web site.

It is never to late to quit smoking. Contact your health care provider through the above phone numbers and obtain the professional assistance you need to kick the habit.