A New Study for TRICARE Beneficiaries is Helping Smokers Kick the Habit
Have you tried everything to quit smoking? TRICARE beneficiaries now have a new resource to help them called the Freedom Smoking Quitline. Participants are more likely to succeed in quitting smoking.
The Freedom Smoking Quitline is a National Institutes of Health-funded research study, co-sponsored by the 59th Medical Wing and University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The study is enrolling TRICARE beneficiaries who are motivated to quit smoking. Qualifying participants have four proactive smoking cessation counseling sessions by phone, along with eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) sent to their homes. After three months, participants will receive a follow-up call to ensure they are still smoke free. However, if they experienced a relapse and started up again, participants can try the program again.
Dr. Gerald Wayne Talcott, Ph.D., Col USAF (Ret) is a co-investigator for the Freedom Quitline. He served as an Air Force psychologist for 28 years and has 30 years of experience in tobacco cessation treatment. According to Dr. Talcott, relapse is all too common for people trying to quit smoking. That’s why participants are offered a second chance with the Freedom Quitline. When participants enroll in this study, they not only receive a premium smoking cessation program at no cost, but they also help researchers gather critical data to improve these programs for our military community. “Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things that anyone ever tries to do in their lifetime," said Dr. Talcott. "Studies show that it might be even more difficult for our military community.” He also emphasized that what makes the Freedom Quitline more effective than most alternatives, is that the counselors have not only extensive training in smoking cessation, but 90% are military veterans themselves.
Results from an Air Force study evaluating a smoking Quitline conducted by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center showed participants were more than two times more likely to quit compared to those who called a standard Quitline.
It’s easy to find out if you qualify. Call 1-844-I-AM-FREE (1-844-426-3733) or go online to learn more at www.freedomquitline.org.