[HEALTH.MIL] New Coverage to Help Kick Tobacco

  • From: HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: <HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2013 11:06:28 -0500

TRICARE Offers New Prescription Coverage to Help Kick Tobacco 

TRICARE beneficiaries living in the United States now have a new weapon in their
fight to kick the tobacco habit. Tobacco cessation medications are now covered
through the TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery program.  The medications are
available to beneficiaries with a prescription who are 18 years or older, but
not eligible for Medicare.
Though a limited number of cessation medications have previously been available
in military hospitals and clinics, beneficiaries trying to kick the habit can
now get a wide range of gums, pills, lozenges, patches or nasal sprays delivered
free through safe, convenient TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery. For more on using
home delivery go to www.tricare.mil/homedelivery.
Those same medications should also be available soon, also at no cost, through
most military clinics and hospitals. As always, patients with a prescription
should check ahead for availability of medications and to see if their military
facility requires participation in a cessation program or class.
"This is an important step in moving from health care to health through a
comprehensive TRICARE tobacco cessation program," said Dr. Jonathan Woodson,
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and director of TRICARE
Management Activity. "When troops smoke, it diminishes their ability to
participate in physical activity and, of course, increases the chance of
respiratory disease."
Tobacco cessation is one of the primary targets for the new Operation Live Well
campaign which also addresses weight management and other substance abuse
issues. "We must dedicate time and effort to building a fit and ready force and
making sure that our beneficiaries, even after they retire, live long and
healthy lives," said Woodson.
TRICARE officials estimated in 2007 that treatment of tobacco-related diseases
cost the Department of Defense (DoD) at least $500 million. Although a health
behavior survey of active duty service members in 2008 showed a small decline in
self-reported tobacco use, at about 31 percent, smoking in the military
typically exceeds the overall U.S average for adults. That U.S. average was
estimated at 19 percent in 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and
TRICARE already offers face-to-face counseling benefits and live "coaching"
assistance through toll free numbers in all three U.S. TRICARE Regions. An
award-winning DoD quit tobacco web site at www.Ucanquit2.org offers a multitude
of quit resources including a 24/7 live chat feature.  The site is also
available to military veterans through collaboration with the Department of
Veterans Affairs.
A Code of Federal Regulations final rule, effective March 29, 2013, authorizes
TRICARE to implement a more comprehensive program that includes the smoking
cessation medications as well as quit tobacco counseling via a toll free phone
line. The quit line will take time to put in place, but the prescription
medications are now available through TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery for
eligible beneficiaries living in the U.S.
There is an annual limit of two quit attempts under the new program. A third
quit attempt may be covered per year with physician justification and

For more on covered medications and the TRICARE cessation program go to

For more on Operation Live Well go to www.militaryonesource.mil/olw.

SOURCE:  TRICARE News Release at

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