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6 Common Questions About Tobacco Cessation Counseling Via Live Chat

6 Common Questions About Tobacco Cessation Counseling Via Live Chat

If you’re an employer looking for the “CliffsNotes” version of what live chat counseling for tobacco cessation is all about, you’ve come to the right place.

Most of the chats I complete as an EX Coach are with actual members in the EX Program but I also chat with potential clients as they test out our service. Kicking the tires not only gives these benefit managers an idea of what it will be like for participants but it also gives me an opportunity to share what I’m passionate about—helping people quit tobacco.

Interested in offering the EX Program to your employees and want to experience coaching via live chat firsthand? Click here.

There are a variety of questions HR managers ask but some of the most common ones include:

What questions do most people ask when they start a chat?

Here are questions participants typically ask with my responses:

  • “How do I get medication?” If their sponsor provides a medication benefit, it’s a 5- to 10-minute process I can complete with them in that moment.
  • “Why is quitting so hard?” Because of how addictive nicotine is, the habits associated with their tobacco use, and the emotional attachment that often develops, many people find it challenging to quit for good.
  • “What is the best way to quit?” Using a program that offers a cohesive plan to quit. This includes medication to help with the physical cravings, a plan for common trigger times, and strategies to cope with emotions.
What’s different about phone coaching vs. live chat coaching?

One of the best ways to leverage the motivation to quit tobacco into a success is to provide access to coaching in the moment smokers need the support. With live chat, the user initiates a chat or schedules an appointment with a coach via mobile device or desktop.

Once they click to chat, they are instantly connected to a live human EX Coach. No hold music, no robot phone dialers, or phone tag—just a real person like myself wanting to help them where they are at in their quit process in that moment.

The “stuff” of coaching via live chat is the same as they would get by telephone; it is just more convenient and discrete to get coaching through our live chat platform.

How long have you been in the tobacco cessation field?

All of our EX Coaches bring different backgrounds to this work but I’ve personally been in the field since 2004.

How do you engage the people who are only doing this for the incentive?

First, I let them know that it’s OK; I appreciate their honesty. I ask open-ended questions to help them explore what they enjoy about using tobacco and what they might see as benefits to quitting. Most importantly, I don’t judge where they are at on their journey because I know simply thinking about the idea of quitting is a planted seed that eventually may grow into a desire to quit.

What about people who aren’t computer savvy?

The chat portal allows me to assist members in getting to different areas on the BecomeAnEX.org website. The program also is mobile friendly so members can even chat with an EX Coach on all devices, not just a computer.

What can I do to make this successful for my employees?

Explain that EX Coaches are not the tobacco police and that we are here to help them on their path to quitting. We’re regular people, just like them, who understand how hard quitting is and want to help them succeed.

We also recommend using the provided promotional materials to ensure employees know that chatting with a coach is a free service to help them quit. Employees can’t use something they don’t know exists!

Try live chat counseling with an EX Coach

While those are some of the most common questions I receive from chats with employers, it certainly isn’t a comprehensive list.

If you are considering the EX Program for your employees and you’re ready to test drive the program, I would like to personally invite you to get started and connect with an EX Coach in a live chat today. What questions would you ask me? Let’s start a conversation!


Margaret LaPlante

EX Coach Lead

Margaret collaborates with the live chat team to ensure protocols are always current and research based. She trains the EX Coaches to get participants the help and medication support they need for a successful quit. Margaret has been delivering tobacco cessation coaching since 2004, helping others get the personalized help they need.