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Cardiovascular Institute of the South

FREE Smoking Cessation Program
To learn more and enroll in Commit to Quit, contact a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist
today at 1-877-288-0011 or send an email to if you would like to be
contacted by a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.

CIS Smoking Cessation Program
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does the program work?

A: Our Tobacco Free Program offers prescription and over-the-counter medications, supportive services conducted either individually or in a group, and visits with a physician or nurse practitioner to aid you in quitting the use of tobacco. Our physicians will work with you to plan your quit date and determine what medications and supportive services you may need.

Q: How much does this program cost?

A: Program cost varies depending on each participantís health insurance benefits. Some individuals who meet certain criteria may qualify to receive these benefits FREE of charge.

Q: How do I determine if I qualify to participate in this program FREE of charge?

A: The FREE resources are made available via the Louisiana Smoking Cessation Trust Fund. The Trust criteria are two-fold:

- Are you a resident of Louisiana?

- Did you smoke a cigarette prior to September 1, 1988?

- If you answered yes, you qualify for these FREE resources.

Q: What if I want to quit but donít qualify for the FREE program?

A: If you want to quit smoking but do not qualify for the free program, there are services that may be still be funded for you, and your health insurance may cover some portions of the program as well. Please contact a CIS clinic near you for more information.

A: You can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit where you can find other resources, such as a coach, who can help you develop a plan to quit and offer counseling. This service is free for all Louisiana residents age 13 and older who are ready to quit within the next 30 days.

Q: Is the program really FREE?

A: Yes. The program is free for individuals who meet the eligibility criteria for the Trust and who are currently enrolled in the program. Once you enroll in the Trust and are approved, you will receive a benefits card to obtain free smoking cessation medications (both prescription and over-the-counter), as well as free doctor visits and supportive services (individual or group sessions).

Please note: If a physician provides services unrelated to smoking cessation during a visit, the patient will be billed for a regular visit and there will be a co-pay.

Q: Why should smokers try to quit?

A: In addition to causing several types of cancer, lung problems and reproductive complications, smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Smoking damages the blood vessels and can make them thicken and grow narrower. This makes the heart beat faster and work harder, which leads to high blood pressure, blood clots, and a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

Q: Do I have to quit right away?

A: No. We will work with you on choosing a quit date that is best for you; it does not need to be the day you come in. Please know that the program offers a total of two 120-day benefit coverage periods in one year. Therefore, you must re-enroll after the first 120 days. We will handle this for you if the need arises.

Q: Will it make a real health difference if I quit?

A: Itís never too late to quit. Giving up smoking quickly reduces the chance of developing cardiovascular disease, and within five years of quitting, the chances of having a heart attack are 50-70 percent lower for former smokers compared to current smokers.

Q: If I have tried multiple times to quit without success, how can this attempt be more successful?

A: In addition to providing free medication to fight nicotine cravings, CIS also offers counseling sessions (both in person and over the phone) to guide the participant in resisting cravings and responding to moments of weakness. Nicotine addiction is the only addiction in which cessation is the most successful after multiple attempts. The program allows for two 120-day quit attempts a year for the next 10 years, totaling 20 quit attempts. You can do it, and we are here to help you.

Q: How can smokers sign up to participate?

A: To sign up, call a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist at 1-877-288-0011.

Q: What is the Krewe de Quit initiative?

A: Krewe de Quit is an initiative to encourage and support smokers who are ready to quit. Take the Krewe de Quit pledge at Youíll have the support of other quitters, and additional tools and resources to help you kick the habit.

If you have any further questions regarding the program, please call one of our Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists at 1-877.288.0011 or visit the CIS location nearest you.