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Smoking Cessation Programs for E-cigarette Users

April 24, 2020

Your BlueCross BlueShield patients have smoking cessation coverage that applies to the use of e-cigarettes, or “vaping”. It’s important for your patients to know that e-cigarettes and vapes are NOT approved tobacco cessation tools and contain nicotine and other potentially harmful substances. Patients using these electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products should have a quit plan in place. There are many resources and programs available for those struggling to quit, at low or no cost.

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) should be used to screen patients for nicotine use. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also provides a useful handout with guidance for how to talk about e-cigarette use with patients and families. Patients who would like to quit any tobacco product (including ENDS devices) can be referred to our smoking cessation program. A prescription is all that is needed for coverage of tobacco treatment medications.

Resources are limited for teens and adolescents who are trying to stop their use of vaping or other tobacco products. We recently awarded a Blue Fund grant to Kids Escaping Drugs for the expansion of a vaping intervention program, which aims to educate area middle and high school students, as well as parents, on vaping.

We have partnered with Roswell Park Cancer Institute to offer access to their quit coaches, who are qualified in any type of nicotine addiction treatment. Patients can be registered by visiting Roswell Park Cessation Services online, or by calling 1-877-500-2393. Your patients also have access to support from our health coaches, who are available to help with this, or any other type of behavior change goal. You (or they) can call 1-877-878-8785, option 2.

Many BlueCross BlueShield patients are covered with a $0 cost-share for these services.

If your patients insist on using vaping products, encourage them not to buy unregulated or black market vaping products of any kind.

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