Tobacco Recovery Program

Our Tobacco Recovery Program helps people quit using cigarettes and all other tobacco products. Similar to what you might find with rehabilitation program, the recovery services used include a systematic approach to quitting through behavior modification techniques, coping skills, social support, stress management, tobacco cessation medications, acupuncture and hypnotherapy. This is an active treatment program that includes visits to a Banner MD Anderson clinic and not to a smoking or tobacco rehab center.

Research studies show that working with a trained psychologist (individually and in group settings) and using medications is more effective in smoking rehabilitation than doing only one or the other or trying to quit on your own. This combination also helps minimize the likelihood of relapse.

How long is the program?

The Tobacco Recovery Program will last two to three months and includes:

  • Integrative medical provider visits (usually 5-7) 
  • Health psychologist visits (usually 6-8)
  • Acupuncture treatments (usually 8)
  • Mandatory attendance at 3 of our monthly Tobacco Recovery Support Group sessions

Once the active treatment program is completed, there will brief monthly phone sessions to follow-up with the patient to provide the patient with ongoing support.

How does the program work?

Patients will meet with an integrative medical provider and health psychologist to discuss tobacco use as well as any related factor and/or triggers (such as stress, anxiety or boredom) that influence when and how those products are used. They will then use this information to create a customized rehabilitation plan for reducing or quitting tobacco use. 

A patient will then have follow-up appointments that will last between 15 - 30 minutes, where they will continue to work with the team on their treatment plan. Depending on the situation, patients may have the opportunity to meet with other clinicians in our program.

Who is eligible for this program?

All Banner MD Anderson patients are eligible for our Tobacco Recovery Program and in some cases, family members of patients living in the same household may be considered eligible for the program.

Do patients have to be ready to quit using tobacco?

Patients are still eligible and welcome to participate in the program even if they are not ready to quit using tobacco. They can discuss their uncertainty with our staff, who can assist them with identifying motivational issues, setting short and long-term goals as well as strategies for achieving them.

What if patients can’t quit in the first couple months?

If a patient is unable to quit using tobacco in the active treatment period of the program, our staff will work with them to discuss extending the treatment period depending on the level of interest and motivation for rehabilitation and may also change the medication regimen being used. Our patients are our priority and our staff will continue to work with them until they are successful.

What types of medications are provided in the program?

Our standard program provides FDA approved medications for assistance with quitting smoking or the use of tobacco products. These medications include:

Nicotine-replacement therapies

  • Nicotine patch
  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine lozenges
  • Inhaler

Prescription medications

  • Bupropion (Zyban®)
  • Varenicline (Chantix®)

If the medications/therapies above are not helpful or cause side effects, our providers will consider other medication options.

Do insurance plans usually cover this program?

Insurance plans, including Medicare, typically cover tobacco cessation programs, tobacco cessation medications and health and behavior assessments, group counseling, and/or in-person counseling.