January 9, 2017
Living tobacco-free is within reach
As the new year approaches, many individuals are making their new year's resolutions. Those who have listed "quit smoking" among their resolutions are in luck. The Center for Healthy Living on Purdue's West Lafayette campus has many approved tobacco cessation programs and support available to help, including classroom, portal and telephone options.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people in the United States are addicted to nicotine than to any other drug.
No-cost wellness workshops and health coaching are available to all benefit-eligible faculty and staff and spouses/dependents covered on a Purdue medical plan.
The next tobacco cessation classroom option begins Wednesday (Jan. 11) and runs through Feb. 15. Sessions will take place from noon to 12:50 p.m. Wednesdays in the Center for Healthy Living's conference room. The workshop will offer tips and techniques to assist participants in their journey to quit smoking or to continue living a tobacco-free life. Special focus will be placed on behavior change, overcoming withdrawal/cravings, coping with stress, managing weight, preventing relapses and more. Registration is due by Tuesday (Jan. 10).
Participants can now use the patient portal to register for any upcoming workshops by following these steps:
* Log in and click the envelope icon in the top right corner of the page.
* Click the "New" button in the top right corner of the page.
* Click the "Add Recipient" button and select "Wellness Program Registration," then click Select.
* Type "Workshop Registration" as the subject.
* Enter your name, contact information and which workshop you would like to attend in the body of the email and click Send.
Those without computer access can call 49-45505 to register.
Debra Crume-Nagel, registered nurse and certified health and wellness coach at the Center for Healthy Living, acknowledges the difficulty in quitting tobacco use in any form.
"Because nicotine is so addictive, quitting smoking or using tobacco in other forms really is hard to do and sometimes may take more than one attempt," Crume-Nagel says. "That's where we come in. Our programs can assist and support employees who are or who have struggled with tobacco use. The health coaches work side by side with the participants to help them understand everything that comes with quitting tobacco use, such as overcoming cravings, coping with stress, managing weight and more."
The health coach can also help participants determine what over-the-counter or prescription tobacco cessation aid or aids might be best for them. Tobacco cessation aids are covered at 100 percent on Purdue health plans.
Aside from the health benefits resulting from not smoking, there are also financial benefits, including a waiver of the tobacco-user additional premium on the benefits premium. As a reminder, employees who certify as tobacco users (a person who has used tobacco, including cigars, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco or any other tobacco product in the past 12 months) during open enrollment each year will pay an additional $500 tobacco-user premium on their medical benefits.
For employees who did not enroll in an approved tobacco cessation program in time to earn a January 2017 waiver, there are still ways to earn a partial waiver of the 2017 additional premium. As outlined below, employees may complete an approved program in 2017 for a partial waiver.
* Complete approved cessation program by Feb. 28 and qualify for a waiver of the additional premium beginning on April 1.
* Complete approved cessation program by May 31 and qualify for a waiver of the additional premium beginning on July 1.
* Complete approved cessation program by Aug. 31 and qualify for a waiver of the additional premium beginning on Oct. 1.
Completion certificates should be turned in to Hattie Sturgill in the Human Resources Service Center before the beginning of the waiver.
In addition to the added tobacco-user premium on the medical plan, those who have used tobacco in the last 12 months will see a higher premium on additional employee term life elections through Minnesota Life. When employees become tobacco-free for 12 months, they may complete the Tobacco User Certification Form and return it to Human Resources for a waiver of the additional medical premium and to lower the additional employee term life rates. The additional medical premium will be waived for the remainder of the calendar year after allowing appropriate time for processing of the form.
For more information about the additional premium, visit the tobacco-user additional premium frequently asked questions page.
For tobacco cessation options specific to regional campuses, visit their respective websites:
Anyone with questions about the waivers and resources available may contact Human Resources at 49-42222 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the regional campus Human Resources departments.