Most tobacco users want to quit, however, many are not utilizing treatment because they are not given easy access to cessation counseling. Employers can make the difference in helping individuals quit by providing easy and free access to cessation education and support.
What Makes BeneQUIT℠ Different?
Retired Police Chief, retired Volunteer Deputy Fire Chief, EMT since 1981
Current employment: Night Shift Supervisor Dispatcher, LVHN EMS
“The counseling I received through the BeneQUIT program reinforced my decision to quit smoking and gave me the resources I need to help others quit.”
Brian Cara says his reasons for putting down cigarettes once and for all were very personal. While he was having a cup of coffee and a cigarette at his home one day, his beloved Bichon Frise, Snow Buddy, began wheezing beside him. In the next room, his finance Jadeen was coughing. It was at that moment that he realized he was endangering the lives of those he loved the most. His fear is supported by statistics. According to the American Lung Association, “Secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year.” Brian, a retired police chief and retired deputy fire chief who now works as a supervising dispatcher with EMS, decided not only to stop smoking, but to help others do the same. He signed up for the BeneQUIT program with BeneFIT Corporate Wellness, where counseling helped him maintain his smoke-free decision. It also provided him with tools and resources to share. “I realized I had no right to put other people’s lives at risk because of my bad habit, and I’ve been helping friends and colleagues come to the same conclusion,” says Brian. “I may not be running into burning buildings to save lives anymore, but if I save one or two by encouraging them to quit smoking, that’s a lot.”
Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Medical Coder
“It was important to have my coach there with me, to reach out to, get inspiration from, express my feelings to, and let me know I wasn’t alone.”
It wasn’t just the counseling part of the BeneQUIT program that was so important to Kim in her long, trying journey to quit smoking, it was also the “book.” Kim took parts of the BeneQUIT program guidebook and combined them with her own thoughts and research into a pocket-sized booklet. She consulted it time and time again over the course of six months as she embarked on her cessation journey, after smoking for 41 years! The process was difficult because Kim says she liked to smoke. Smoking had become a comfort and gave her “me” time. However, she felt she had reached a tipping point in putting her health first, as she approached 59 years of age and knew she wanted to be her best self for her husband, son, and grandson. She turned to the BeneQUIT program from BeneFIT Corporate Wellness after having little success with “cold turkey.” She says the program gave her the tools and the encouragement she needed, along with the dedicated support of her health coach who is certified in tobacco treatment. “I was able to change my thoughts and habits (it’s important to change both),” says Kim. “I admitted to myself that smoking isn’t good for my health, and I realized it was just a routine for me. My coach was by my side every step of the way, whenever I needed her. She didn’t badger me, put me down, or make me feel less of a person because I smoked. She encouraged me, let me vent when I needed to, comforted me, assured me my struggles and feelings were common, and let me quit when I felt it was right for me.” Kim says it was the consistent support that was so critical after setting a “quit date” 11 times and finally succeeding on the 12th try. “That’s what got me to five months now without a cigarette,” says Kim.