The decision to quit smoking is the beginning of a difficult journey to a healthier future, but you don't have to travel it alone. There are a variety of counseling programs designed to support people who want to give up their tobacco habits. Statistics indicate that smokers who participate in quit-smoking programs demonstrated success rates that were 30-50% higher than the success rates of individuals who attempted to quit without any formal support.
Online counseling programs are ideal for individuals with daily schedules that interfere with the possibility of attending in-person counseling programs. Examples of these online offerings are the Freedom from Smoking Online and Smokefree.gov. While sites like Smokefree.gov offer assistance free of charge, others charge monthly, quarterly, or annual fees. Freedom from Smoking Online charges an annual fee of $40 for premium membership.
The success of these online programs largely depends on your motivation to quit smoking. Each site features various modules that offer quitting tips, information pertaining to OTC and prescription aides, and access to communities of current and former smokers who offer support and advice in dealing with withdrawal.
When calling the U.S. national tobacco quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, you are redirected to call centers based in your state. Each center is staffed by trained personnel who are familiar with the process of quitting smoking. This telephone service is designed for smokers of all ages, and bilingual assistance is available. By using the service, you can receive unlimited sessions with a coach, a personalized quitting plan, and self-help materials.
In-person counseling varies from community-based groups to private sessions offered by professional therapists. Costs of each type of counseling also vary greatly from no charge to hundreds of dollars. Your health insurance provider may offer smoking cessation coverage in your policy. Companies that do offer such coverage have a wide variety of terms and specifications.
Overall, studies indicate that individuals were most likely to stop smoking when they combined counseling with nicotine replacement therapies or prescription cessation aids. Quitting remains a complex feat that varies from one person to the next in terms of time and approaches required for success.