A Small Investment with Big Returns

Blog Post created by NDC_Team on May 22, 2019

Doing the right thing!


Does your health care plan cover smoking cessation?  IF not, it should!  Treatment for tobacco addiction should be included in benefit plans as are other addiction and behavioral health treatments.   Because of the extraordinary benefit to people’s health, the Centers for Disease control recommends that smoking cessation treatment be provided to all health plan beneficiaries without cost or co-pay [1}. 


Providing health insurance coverage for smoking cessation is not only the right thing to do, but it is one of the most sensible decisions an employer or health benefit plan can make.  Smoking cessation can provide extraordinary savings to employers and health plans. According to researchers at the University of Ohio, people who don’t smoke save about $6,000 each year in excess health care costs and lost productivity.[2]


Still, many employers and health care plans don’t cover smoking cessation, even though they do cover treatment for other addictions.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of misunderstanding that people should just stop smoking.  However, as the people in the EX community know, stopping smoking can be one of the most difficult addictions from which to recover.


As Maya Angelou said: “The wisest thing I can do, is be on my own side be an advocate for myself and others like me.”  Check your plan.  Does it cover both counseling and medications for smoking cessation?  If not, take a step.  Let your employer or health insurance plan know about the EX Program. Providing the right support to people who smoke, is a win-win: it’s a smart investment, and a good service.


Michael V. Burke, Ed.D

Program Director and NDC Counselor/ CTTS


  1. CDC. Coverage for Tobacco Use Cessation Treatments. Secondary Coverage for Tobacco Use Cessation Treatments 2014. Coverage for Tobacco Use Cessation Treatments | CDC
  2. Berman M, Crane R, Seiber E, Munur M. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. Tobacco control 2014;23(5):428-33 doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050888[published Online First: Epub Date]|.