November 29, 2014

Isn’t it time to stop smoking?

What better gift to your health and your family’s health could there be than to resolve to stop smoking in 2011?

Easier said than done. That’s for sure.

But help is available. For UTU rail members covered by the national contract health plans, each of the medical benefits have smoking cessation programs included in their wellness programs.

Additionally, there is a specific benefit associated with the prescription drug program for smoking cessation aids.

UTU members covered by other health plans should check with their health care plan administrators or directly with their health plans.

For those covered under Railroad Medicare, counseling is included as benefit with no cost to the insured. Check with your Medicare provider for more details.

Or, www.Medicare.gov  and click on the smoking cessation page.

Or, www.palmettogba.com/medicare and scroll to the section, “People with Railroad Medicare.”

While smoking rates have fallen over the past 30 years, those rates have not declined since 2005.

Look at the numbers and decide for yourself if you should seek help to stop smoking. Better yet, share the numbers with your family members and ask them.

  • Smokers cause 88 million non-smokers, including children, to be exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Annually, more than 440,000 Americans die from the effects of smoking, accounting for one of every five deaths in the United States.
  • More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than from illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, murders and AIDS, combined.
  • Smoking causes 80 percent of all lung cancer deaths in women, and 90 percent in men.