Tobacco cessation program available via Center for Healthy Living, Indiana Quitline

There are many health benefits of quitting smoking, and according to, they include:

  • Decreased cancer risks – Smoking not only increases the chance of lung cancer, it also increases the risk for cancer of the stomach, mouth, throat, kidney, cervix, pancreas and bladder. 10 years after quitting your lung cancer death rate is about half of that of a smoker’s, and the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas also decreases.
  • Improved lung function – In 2 to 3 months after quitting, lung function improves and the chance of developing emphysema later in life decreases, and in 10 years the risk of lung cancer is half that of a smoker.
  • Heart benefits –20 minutes after quitting your heart rate drops back down to normal. In two weeks to three months, the risk of heart attack begins to drop and lung function improves.

For a look at how quitting smoking benefits your health over time, see the Quit Smoking Timeline.  

In support of the physical health pillar and financial wellness pillar of the Healthy Boiler Program, tobacco cessation options are available for all Purdue employees via multiple options, including the Center for Healthy Living (CHL) on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.

CHL – all campus employees

All benefits-eligible faculty and staff (non-graduate) as well as their dependents covered on a Purdue health plan can utilize the CHL for their tobacco cessation needs.

Via the CHL, one-on-one counseling for tobacco cessation is available as a no-cost wellness option, which provides support to individuals before, during and after they quit. Through a series of up to four sessions – via telephone and / or in person – participants can receive guidance to help handle challenges while quitting and recommendations and proper use of medications to help make them more comfortable while they are quitting. Employees can take part in tobacco cessation with the help from the CHL health coaches at any time throughout the year.

Healthy Boiler workshops focused on tobacco cessation are offered at certain times each year by the health coaches. The next “Tobacco Cessation Overview” workshop, which provides strategies to help individuals quit, is schedule for . More information will be shared via Purdue Today closer to the workshop start date. 

“Quitting smoking (or using tobacco in other forms) is very difficult, and we realize and understand that,” said Lindsay Bloom, health coach at Purdue Fort Wayne. “As health coaches, we are trained to be your partner in creating a plan and setting realistic goals while also being there with you step by step.”

To schedule with a Purdue health coach, call 765-494-0111 or 260-481-6651. Benefits-eligible employees on all campus can utilize the coaches on the West Lafayette and Fort Wayne campuses either in-person or via telephone.

Indiana Tobacco Quitline – all campus employees

The Indiana Tobacco Quitline is provided by the state Department of Health to all residents of Indiana and is available seven days a week.

To receive credit for this approved tobacco cessation program via the Quitline, you must do the following:

  • Register:Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to start the program. A Quitline intake specialist will get your demographic information and register you in the program. You will then be transferred to a quit coach for your initial coaching call or you will be scheduled for an outbound call from the quit coach at a later date.

  • Take calls:Quit coach calls include assessment of status, review of stage of readiness to change, action items appropriate to status, discussion of triggers and barriers, setting a quit date and information/resources. During a coaching call, the quit coach schedules the timeframe for your next call. Should you miss a scheduled call, you can call in yourself to reach a quit coach.

    You will receive four calls with your quit coach. Generally, most people complete their four calls between six and 12 weeks. You may take longer than 12 weeks if needed, but you must not complete the four quit coach calls in shorter than six weeks.

  • Submit your certificate of completion:During your fourth call with your quit coach, you must request a “certificate of completion.” Once you receive that letter in the mail, you will submit it to Human Resources as evidence of completion.

Visit the Indiana Tobacco Quitline website for more information.

Purdue Health Plan Coverage

Keep in mind, that all Purdue medical plans for faculty and staff cover tobacco cessation products with no copay as long as the employee has a prescription for them (including over-the-counter items). Cessation products do not require prior authorization and employees are allowed up to a 168-day supply (24 weeks) of each product in one year of treatment. For a list of covered tobacco-cessation products, visit the Tobacco Cessation web page.

Tobacco-user additional premium information

Aside from the health benefits resulting from not smoking, there are also financial benefits, including a waiver of the tobacco-user additional premium on an employee’s benefits premium. As a reminder, employees (and their spouse, if covered) 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 $1,000 tobacco-user premium on their medical benefits.

In addition, premiums for the following benefits could be impacted by whether or not an employee (and their spouse, if covered) have used tobacco in the last 12 months:

Waivers for the tobacco-user additional premium

Employees and covered spouses can receive waivers for the tobacco-user additional premium the following ways:

  • Complete an approved tobacco cessation program

Completed program certificates from an approved tobacco cessation program submitted after March 31 will reduce premiums for the remainder of the 2021 plan year.

  • Become tobacco-free for 12 months

Those who have already quit may submit a Tobacco User Certification Form at the point where you have not used tobacco in the last 12 months. Certificates received after March 31 will reduce your premiums going forward only. Note: You do not have to enter a recipient to email at the bottom of the form; it will be automatically routed to Human Resources.