The health benefits of quitting smoking can be realized the moment you quit. From the physiological to the psychological, you’ll notice the immediate and positive health changes that smoking cessation can have on you and those around you. But the path to being smoke-free isn’t an easy one and can be a challenging solo journey. In this month’s Benefits Spotlight, let’s look at the services and resources available through UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and UBC’s Extended Health Benefits Plan that can support you along the way.
Anita’s Challenge: When Handling a Long Flight is Easier as a Non-smoker
Anita is taking a two-week vacation to travel to Australia and visit her sister. She’s been planning and saving up for this trip for a year, but with three months to departure, Anita feels anxious about not being able to smoke for a long period of time during the flight. She’s tried to quit before but relapsed due to symptoms of nicotine and tobacco withdrawal. With a 16-hour flight ahead of her, Anita has extra motivation to finally quit for good.
How your Extended Health Benefits can help:
UBC’s Extended Health Benefits Plan reimburses for smoking cessation products that require a prescription, as well as over-the-counter products with a prescription. If you’re enrolled in the UBC plan, you can access up to $300 per year per person for smoking cessation drugs.
The plan also provides coverage for naturopathic services that can include anti-smoking treatments administered by a doctor of naturopathic medicine (ND).
For more details, refer to the information outlined by your UBC Employee Group. For specific drug coverage, visit the Sun Life Member Website, call Sun Life at 1-800-661-7334 or 1-800-361-6212, or review the details in your Sun Life benefits booklet.
Jesse’s Challenge: When Quitting Smoking is Part of the Prescription for Better Health
Jesse was recently diagnosed with Type II diabetes. His doctor outlined the health impacts of smoking on diabetes, including the damage it’s doing to his blood vessels and how smoking can accelerate long-term complications of diabetes. Jesse now understands what’s at stake and is desperate to quit, but he isn’t sure how to get started.
How EFAP can help:
UBC’s EFAP provider, Morneau Shepell, offers smoking cessation support services and expert tips and tools that could help Jesse quit. They can help people understand why and when they smoke, intercept smoking triggers, prevent relapse, and build social support networks. Learn more about their Smoking Cessation Program and Stop Smoking Centre. (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization.)
EFAP is available to all eligible UBC staff and faculty and their dependents. Services are free at the time of access and 100% confidential. To book services or to learn which service is right for you, call the Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765 or visit www.worklifehealth.com.