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Medicare Can Help You Quit Smoking

More people die every year from tobacco related diseases than from HIV, illegal drugs, suicides, vehicular injuries, and murder combined/

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, more deaths are related to tobacco use in the United States every year than are linked to HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murder combined. Roughly, 20 percent of all the deaths in the United States every year are linked to cigarette smoke.

Every year in the United States, some 443,595 deaths are related to tobacco use. Roughly, 269,655 men and about 173,940, women die every year from tobacco-related illnesses. Approximately, 49,400 of those deaths occur because of exposure to second-hand smoke.

The CDC reports that people who smoke die 14 years earlier than people who do not smoke. Based on the number of people who report smoking cigarettes today, there are 25 million people in the U.S. will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses. Those 25 million deaths include the deaths of 5 million people who will die before they reach 18 years of age.

I was not aware of any of those statistics when I quit smoking 38 years ago at the age of 30—I just knew that I had to quit smoking. When I quit smoking, I chain smoked cigars and inhaling the smoke. My smoking was affecting my martial arts workouts and my daily runs. It was becoming difficult for me to breathe. For me, it was plain; I either had to give up smoking or the lifestyle that I loved. I went cold turkey, but few people have the will power to quit that way because smoking is a physical addiction as well as a psychological addiction. Most people need the help of counseling or a support group to quit smoking.

Medicare is there to help you kick the habit.

There was a time when Medicare only covered antismoking counseling for Medicare recipients who had already developed medical problems related to their smoking. Even then it required 20 percent copay and came under Medicare Part B Annual Deductible. Medicare has finally got it right and has put the horse before the cart where it belongs. Today Medicare will cover antismoking counseling for people who have no smoking related diseases and there will be no copay and no deductible provided you see a medical practitioner who will accept Medicare-approved payments as full reimbursement. Today, under the new Medicare rules, you can get help to quit smoking before it harms your health. According to a report by the Association for the Advancement of Retired People (AARP), out of the 46 million American who smoke, 5.5 million are Medicare recipients. According to the November 11, 2011 issues of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 50 percent of all smokers 65 years old and older say that they want to quit smoking completely.

The new Medicare rules permit two attempts per year.

A Medicare recipient is allowed to make two attempts to quit smoking in any 12-month period. Each attempt includes up to four counseling sessions or eight counseling session in any 12-month period. If you have your first counseling session in January and your eighth session in November of that year and still have not kicked the habit, you can start over again in January of the coming year. As of this writing, Medicare has not placed a limit on the number of times a recipient can repeat this yearly cycle.

The treatment modality

Medicare does not specify how a medical practitioner is to treat his or her patient but does recommend that they follow the “5-A” Approach set down by the federal government 10 years ago.

No excuse not to quit

If you are a Medicare recipient, you have no excuse not to quit. Quit now and live a longer, healthier life. Quitting will be a struggle for many but there are professional ready to help you through the struggle. Furthermore, best of all, Medicare is ready to pay them to help you quit.

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Comments (1)

Thanks for this info. I actually am trying to quit the habit myself.