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Tobacco Recovery Program

What Is a Tobacco Recovery Program?

The Tobacco Recovery Program at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center aims to help people quit using cigarettes and all other tobacco products. Research studies show that working with a trained psychologist (individually and in group settings) and using medications is more effective in quitting smoking than doing only one or the other or trying to quit on your own. This combination also helps minimize the likelihood of relapse.

Similar to what you might find with a 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.

Below are some common questions about our Tobacco Recovery Program.

How Does the Tobacco Recovery 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. Follow-up appointments that will last between 15 - 30 minutes will also be part of the plan.

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 provide ongoing support.

Who Can Participate In The Program?

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

What If I’m Not Ready to Quit Using Tobacco?

Even if you don’t feel ready to quit tobacco, we encourage you to participate in the program anyway. Discuss your uncertainty with our staff so we can assist you with identifying motivational issues and setting short and long-term goals, as well as creating strategies for achieving them.

What If I Am Unable to Quit During the First Few Months?

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

What Medications Are Used in the Program?

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

Will This Program Be Covered by Insurance?

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

If you’re struggling to quit smoking, we’re here to help. Talk to your doctor about getting started with our Tobacco Recovery Program today.