Let's quit smoking—together

It’s a new year. That means it's time for goal-setting, from getting healthy to saving money. It also means breaking old habits, which can feel twice as hard. The good news? We can help you with one bad habit that's bad for your health and your bank account: smoking.

Did you know that Capital Blue Cross offers free preventive services to help you kick tobacco products for good? From 180-day prescription services to smoking cessation counseling, you won’t be alone. All you have to do is try—we’re here to help with the rest!

Here’s why it’s important to quit: more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. And for every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. What are these diseases? Cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis). Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, eye diseases, and immune system diseases.

Helping yourself is huge, but when you quit, you can help others too. Secondhand smoke contributes to 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 infants each year. It can cause stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children specifically are at risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.

Woman breaking a cigarette

Positive things happen to your body after 20 minutes without smoking.

Healthline.com outlines the near-immediate effects when you quit:

  • 20 minutes without smoking will lower heart rate
  • Eight to 12 hours without smoking increases your blood oxygen levels
  • 48 hours without smoking improves your taste and smell
  • Two weeks to three months without smoking will lower your risk of heart attack
  • One to nine months without smoking will improve your breathing and you’ll cough less

Why are effects so immediate? Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer. People who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death.

Capital Blue Cross is here to help.

So what does this all mean for you? You don’t have to face quitting alone. We know it’s not easy, but with Capital Blue Cross by your side, quitting is within reach. You got this!

Preventive coverage

Many plans from the Capital Blue Cross family of companies include benefits to help you quit smoking,1 including 180-day or two 90-day covered treatment regimens of these tobacco-cessation products (all, including over-the-counter drugs, require a valid prescription for coverage):

  • Bupropion HCl SR 150 mg 2
  • Chantix®
  • Nicotine gum 2
  • Nicotine lozenge 2
  • Nicotine patch 2
  • Nicotrol nasal spray and inhaler
  • Tobacco-cessation counseling sessions (visit limits may apply)

Healthwise® Knowledgebase

Healthwise® Knowledgebase

Get even more information on tobacco-related health issues and treatments. To get started, visit our Health and wellness info page for access to the Healthwise Knowledgebase.

Nurse Line

Chat with a Nurse or call 800.452.2583 (TTY: 711) to speak with a registered nurse—24/7 at no charge. Get confidential support and advice.

Even more help

On top of plan benefits, here are other things to add to your quitting plan. Ask your doctor how they can support you.

  • Behavioral therapies (such as training in problem solving)
  • Individual, group, or telephone counseling
  • Apps you can use on a mobile phone or tablet
  • Medications
  • Nicotine replacement products
    • Over-the-counter (nicotine patch [which is also available by prescription], gum, lozenge)
    • Prescription (nicotine patch, inhaler, nasal spray)
  • Prescription non-nicotine medications: bupropion SR (Zyban®), varenicline tartrate (Chantix®)

Counseling and medication are both effective. Using them together is even better.

Interested in health and wellness information? Visit the Capital Journal for more articles.

Interested in drug information? Visit our prescription education section.


1 Not available under all plans. Refer to your summary of  benefits and coverage for full details about these benefits.

2 Generic only. Please refer to our Rx preventive coverage list for more details.