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7 Reasons Quit-smoking Help from Health Plans May Not Be Enough

7 Reasons Quit-smoking Help from Health Plans May Not Be Enough

As part of your company’s health plan, you may already offer quit-smoking help to employees. But here is a trick question: What does that help actually include—and how effective is it in engaging employees and dependents in quitting tobacco?

To give employees and their families the best support to quit, it’s Important that you know exactly what your cessation program includes. And if you only offer a quit-smoking program through your health plan, you’ll likely find the help you’re providing isn’t enough.

Employees today want a buffet of choices for how they receive support, not just a chicken-or-fish catered dinner.

Clients who partner with the EX Program, for example, choose to carve out the quit-smoking help they provide employees for 7 key reasons:
  • Clear focus on tobacco: Employers want a solution for tobacco cessation that works. A study on workplace cessation interventions found that interventions exclusively focused on quitting tobacco are effective at getting employees to quit. According to the same study, there is lack of evidence that general wellness programs targeting multiple risk factors, including tobacco use, reduce smoking prevalence.
  • Personalization: Health plans typically only offer phone-based coaching. With the EX Program, multi-modal tools tailor the quitting experience to individual preferences, as tobacco users can choose to receive support through text messaging, peer support, live chat coaching, and more.
  • Social community: Social communities have been proven to help smokers quit, yet most health plans don’t offer them. A thriving community provides current and former smokers with 24/7 quick responses and peer-to-peer support for candid advice and powerful motivation.
  • Tailored support to quit e-cigarettes: Each type of tobacco use requires a specific strategy, and e-cigs are no exception. Those who use them need a program tailored to support their quit efforts in different ways, especially for young adults. The EX Program provides this. In addition, the EX Program also gives tips to parents of vapers to help their loved one quit.
  • Ease of use: Imagine the ability to privately live chat with a cessation coach anywhere. Or having quit medication delivered to your home—instead of having to go to the doctor for a prescription and then the pharmacy to pick it up. Making cessation support as easy as possible is a huge part of a successful quit, especially with multiple quit efforts. But many health plans only support a certain number of quit attempts or are limited when it comes to support options.
  • Continuous innovation to improve quit rates: The battle against tobacco addiction is far from over. On average, 1 in 7 U.S. adults smoke; in certain states, it’s 1 in 4. But traditional ways that previously worked to engage tobacco users in quitting don’t match consumer communication preferences today. To identify the latest best practices, the EX Program conducts field-leading research on quit-smoking digital interventions and incorporates this learning to constantly improve our program. See About Us to learn more about our team.
  • Reporting: As an employer, you want to know that what you’ve put in place is working. But obtaining reporting on tobacco cessation from a health plan is not always easy. That’s why the EX Program provides quarterly performance reports on enrollment, engagement, and quit medication utilization, as well as monthly incentive reporting.
Avoid offering only fish or chicken

To provide effective quit-smoking help, employers need to serve a buffet of easy support options that give employees control in choosing how to quit. And this support should be constantly evolving and adapting to the latest best practices.

Taking this approach lets you reach more tobacco users—among employees and dependents—and support more tobacco users to quit. For good.

See more details on how the EX Program stacks up against your health plan offering. Here’s how: Contact us and let’s start a conversation.


Jessie Saul, Ph.D.
Jessie Saul, Ph.D.

Client Success Director

Dr. Jessie Saul brings 16 years of experience in program evaluation and strategic planning with tobacco cessation. She applies this deep understanding to help clients improve program performance and reduce tobacco use among populations. She earned her Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University.

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