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Getting Help for Nicotine Addiction

If you struggle with an addiction to smoking cigarettes, you are not alone. There are nicotine addiction treatment programs available so that you don’t have to quit on your own. The nicotine from smoking cigarettes is highly addictive, and one of the most widely misused substances in the United States. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the country.1

Despite these facts, however – national research, policy-making, and focus on tobacco addiction treatment has traditionally lagged behind other prevention and treatment topics. Nonetheless, the past decade has shown significant and successful advances in behavioral and pharmacological treatments for smokers trying to quit.

Do I Need Rehab for Nicotine Addiction?

Assessing whether you are addicted to nicotine is something best conducted by a trained practitioner. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, it would be wise to consult your healthcare provider as to whether you might benefit from tobacco treatment:

  • Despite previous attempts to quit smoking, have you been unsuccessful in stopping?
  • Have you continued smoking despite having been advised by a medical practitioner that continuing to smoke will exacerbate your health problem?
  • Do you feel that you need to smoke cigarettes during times of stress or even simply to feel normal?
  • When you have cut back on smoking, have you experienced any nicotine withdrawal symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Sweating.
  • Shakiness.
  • Irritability.

Navigating the best tobacco addiction recovery plan for you can be confusing, but there are numerous resources available to help you or someone you love overcome tobacco addiction.

What to Expect from Tobacco Treatment?

Quitting by yourself and maintaining a tobacco-free lifestyle can be tricky. If you seek expert support and professional guidance, however, you can dramatically increase your potential for lasting recovery success dramatically.

Effective Treatment

One of the most effective treatments for nicotine addiction includes a combination of behavioral therapy and medications. Medication-assisted treatment for smoking addiction can drastically improve long-term recovery rates. There are a wide variety of medications and nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) available.

NRT and other smoking cessation medications play a critical role – alongside of ongoing therapy – in relieving the physical stress of the withdrawal and recovery process. A smoking cessation expert can work with you to tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs and circumstances.

Entering Nicotine Addiction Treatment

What happens when you enter tobacco addiction treatment?

  1. Intake Assessment. Trained medical practitioners conduct a comprehensive physical and psychological assessment. The results of this assessment then inform the development of a treatment plan that is tailored to your particular smoking triggers and needs.
  2. Treatment Planning. A smoking cessation expert works closely with you to determine what types of NRTs or medications would be most effective for you. Examples of NRTs might include nicotine patches, inhalers, lozenges, gum, or nasal sprays. Medications such as varenicline (Chantix) and bupropion (Zyban) might also be considered.
  3. Therapy and Medications. Based on the high success rates of combining pharmacological support with behavioral therapies, you will likely begin engaging in therapy and counseling – both in individual and group contexts.
  4. Education and Coaching. Health education on nicotine addiction and recovery is often a helpful addition to nicotine addiction treatment. Personalized coaching may take place during one-on-one therapy sessions and often covers topics such as stress management, wellness, and relapse prevention.
  5. Family Involvement. You will typically be given the option to involve family in your recovery from nicotine addiction. Depending on your permission and on your family members’ availability – family members may be invited to participate in specialized training and education sessions with counselors trained in smoking cessation.

How Long Does Nicotine Addiction Rehab Take?

Nicotine addiction may be treated either on an outpatient (nonresidential) or an inpatient (residential) basis – with inpatient tobacco addiction treatment programs typically lasting 7-15 days. However, nicotine dependence is sometimes part of a larger group of substance dependence and mental health issues that need holistic treatment sometimes lasting longer than 15 days.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) research demonstrates that the longer you are compliant with treatment, the higher your quit rates will be, and the better your chances of not relapsing.2 Effectively modifying your life to live without nicotine involves significant behavior modification. The longer you commit to positive changes, the longer you will likely remain sober from tobacco.

Recovery from Nicotine Addiction Is Ongoing

Remaining smoke-free over the long haul can be challenging. Nicotine addiction can lead to frequent episodes of chronic relapse even after quitting – often requiring multiple attempts to quit for good. As with overcoming other substance dependences, you are never “cured” of a smoking addiction.

You can, however, strengthen your skills to overcome smoking urges and sustain the ongoing process of recovery. The longer a smoking cessation protocol is followed, the better the outcomes for living a tobacco-free life.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one is unable to stop using tobacco, call to speak with someone about the different types of treatments and resources available to help make your transition to a smoke-free life permanent.

Types of Rehabs for Tobacco Addiction

Smoking addiction treatment is typically provided through your primary care physician, at community health centers, and at specialized smoking cessation clinics. It can be treated through:

  • Outpatient programs. These programs offer treatment plans as you live at home and make visits to a clinic or health center.
  • Residential programs. These programs have you come in and live at the program to undergo more intense 24/7 treatment.

Individuals without long-standing addiction and without co-occurring medical or mental health conditions tend to be the best candidates for outpatient treatment programs. Residential programs often provide more adequate help for those with more serious addictions and with those who have co-occurring medical or mental health conditions.

Standard Residential

Standard residential rehab facilities provide staff personnel who can monitor your progress around-the-clock. Hospital-based facilities offer 24/7 access to healthcare professionals and medical resources – while facilities located outside of hospitals may offer intermittent access to healthcare professionals. Standard residential facilities are usually the most cost-effective inpatient treatment option.


Luxury rehab facilities cost more than standard residential treatment centers since they provide additional high-end amenities such as:

  • Secluded settings.
  • Private rooms.
  • Wellness programs.
  • Special nutrition programs.


Executive rehab facilities offer the same treatment and much of the same resort-like amenities as luxury facilities. However, executive rehabs are additionally designed to allow busy professionals to continue engaging in regular work life as normally as possible.

Other Specialized Rehab Programs

Specialized rehab facilities focus on specific sub-populations. Programs may be:

How to Pay for Tobacco Addiction Treatment

Identifying resources to stop smoking can be a challenge. Although, every day you remain nicotine-free – you do save considerable money just on the purchase of cigarettes.

A few of the ways in which you can pay for tobacco addiction treatment include:

  • Health Insurance. While health insurance may cover much of your costs, it is important to review your policy closely to be aware of out-of-pocket costs that may be incurred for certain medications and behavioral interventions. Be sure to check policy terms, deductions, exclusions and reimbursement terms prior to entering treatment. A helpful resource to check whether nicotine addiction treatment services are covered under the Affordable Care Act and your specific insurance is the American Lung Association.
  • Public or Private Loans. If you are uninsured, one potential option is to obtain loans – either publicly from the public sector or privately from friends and family.
  • Employee Benefits. If you are a full-time employee, check with your employer’s human resources department to determine if your benefits include participation in an employee assistance program.

What Happens After Tobacco Cessation Rehab?

A key component in long-term recovery from nicotine addiction is the pursuit of healthy activities that make taking smoking back up much less likely. Sometimes referred to as “smoking prevention activities” – these activities may include lifestyle changes that replace your previous smoking habits, and may include:

  • Exercise. In particular, aerobic exercise has been shown to improve affect and reduce tobacco withdrawal symptoms – although research is also in progress that shows potential positive outcomes for yoga as well.3
  • Retraining your brain. In addition to a healthier lifestyle, one key to sustaining a smoke-free life for the long-term may be predicated on whether you perceive yourself as a non-smoker.4
  • Continuity of care. Once your formal program of smoking cessation has completed, it’s important to continue to access resources and participate in Nicotine Anonymous or other online/telephone support groups when relapse triggers are acute. Making this significant behavioral health change is a challenge. Long-term recovery is best accomplished with the support and guidance of a trained therapist or with a smoking cessation practitioner even after you have successfully stopped smoking.

How to Pick a Smoking Cessation Treatment Program

The good news is that you have an array of effective options for overcoming your smoking addiction. At least 9 medications and 3 different psychosocial treatments have shown significant success in helping one stop smoking.5

Sorting out the pros and cons of various approaches is best done with a healthcare professional who has tobacco cessation training. Individual factors that play a role in shaping one’s treatment program include:

  • Prior attempts at quitting.
  • Concerns about potential adverse effects such as weight gain.
  • Self-analysis of relapse triggers (e.g., physical cravings or stress).
  • Coexisting medical or mental health conditions that may require additional or more intensive treatment.

As with selecting the most appropriate treatment program for any drug of misuse, you should consider the following factors when evaluating a treatment program:

  • The program’s proof of positive outcomes and success rates.
  • Caliber of trained practitioners.
  • Treatment philosophy (abstinence versus medication management).
  • Cost.
  • Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the Council on Accreditation (COA), or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
  • Location and ease of incorporating the treatment schedule into your daily life.

Trying to find the best tobacco addiction treatment program for your particular needs is not always easy. We would love to help clarify your choices and discuss what particular needs or circumstances you may have. Call at any time to speak with an admissions navigator about your nicotine addiction treatment options. We are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day.

Does Insurance Cover Treatment for Nicotine Addiction?

For those who have insurance, using health insurance to pay for rehab should cover at least some of the cost of substance addiction treatment. Depending on your individual insurance plan, treatment for nicotine addiction at a specific facility may or may not be covered. It’s important that you know what is covered prior to attending a rehab. Use the free online insurance coverage checker tool below to find out if your health insurance provides coverage for addiction rehab and other rehabilitation treatment plans for substance abuse recovery for first responders.

Coverage may vary depending on your needs and insurance plan. To find out if your policy covers spiritual or faith-based rehab, click here, or fill out the form below. Your information is kept 100% confidential. You can also click here to find a rehab near me.

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