Shawn Akavan, MD, MBA, CPE is the Medical Director of Amerigroup Washington

Tip: Succeed at Quitting Tobacco

Your health matters! The International Examiner and Amerigroup are partnering to bring you monthly health tips from Dr. Shawn Akavan.

Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer. Smoking increases the risk for serious health problems, many diseases and death.

People who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death. Although the health benefits are greater for people who stop at an early age, there are benefits at any age.

You’re never too old to quit!

The following treatments are proven to be effective for smokers who want help to quit:

  • Brief help by a doctor (such as when a doctor takes 10 minutes or less to give a patient advice and assistance about quitting)
  • Individual, group or phone counseling
  • Behavioral therapies (such as training in problem solving)
    Treatments with more person-to-person contact and more intensity (such as more or longer counseling sessions)

Medications for quitting:

  • Nicotine replacement products
    Over-the-counter nicotine patch (which is also available by prescription), gum or lozenge
  • Prescription nicotine patch, inhaler or nasal spray
  • Prescription non-nicotine medications
  • Bupropion SR (Zyban®), varenicline tartrate (Chantix®)
  • Counseling and medication are both effective for treating tobacco dependence, and using them together is more effective than using either one alone.

Quitline Services

Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) if you want help quitting. This is a free phone support service that can help people who want to stop smoking or using tobacco.

Thank you for being an Amerigroup Washington, Inc. member.

Shawn Akavan, MD, MBA, CPE

Medical Director, Amerigroup Washington

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