Do you smoke tobacco? I’m quite a heavy smoker and don’t really wish to kick the vice. But if you are smoker struggling to quit, here’s some great news. You can get paid to quit smoking and make up to $2,000 in 2019.
Get paid to quit smoking? Yes, that’s right. There’s lots of organizations and possibly your employer who’ll actually pay you cash to quit smoking or compensate for those precious tobacco whiffs in some other manner.
Obviously, you’ll wonder, why would they pay you to quit smoking? Companies are concerned about your health but that’s not the only reason.
Reasons You Get Paid to Quit Smoking
Here’s some shockers from the latest report from Office of the Surgeon General.
- Over 20 million Americans have died as a direct result of smoking between 1964 and 2014.
- Among these, 2.5 million Americans lost their lives due to exposure to second-hand smoke from smoker colleagues, friends, roommates and relatives.
- More than 100,000 infants have died between 1964 and 2014 from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), complications of premature birth, low birth weight and other pregnancy problems of parental smoking.
- Smoking causes premature deaths of about half a million people every year.
- Economic losses due to smoking and smoke exposure stand at whopping $300 billion per year.
- Direct medical costs on smokers and persons exposed to second-hand smoke stand over $130 billion per year.
- Loss of productivity due to smoking related causes are about $150 billion annually.
- In the US, about 87 percent of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke.
- Smoking accounts for 32 percent of coronary heart disease.
- Over 79 percent cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease occur due to smoking.
Additionally, the report ‘Health Consequences of Smoking: Surgeon General Fact Sheet’ also says there’s a 50 percent rise in disease among women due to smoking between 1964 and 2014. Lung cancer risk among female smokers shows a 10-fold increase.
As you would notice, these facts are alarming enough for every employer. Drop in productivity due to smoking and related disease directly affects your employer and society. Several employees die every year due to smoking related disease.
To prevent these deaths and loss of productivity at work, various organizations and employers actually pay you to quit smoking.
While 70 percent smokers want to quit tobacco, they find no incentives to stop smoking. Hence, these rewards are on offer if you wish to kick the habit.
Getting Paid to Quit Smoking
If you’re among these majority of smokers that wish to bid adieu to smoking and want incentives, there’s good news. You can make up to $2,000 by merely becoming an ex-smoker. And here’s how you can make this money.
This is a Federal initiative. ClinicialTrials.gov lists various upcoming and ongoing medical trials for smokers that wish to quit the habit. Generally, these organizations pay smokers to participate in their trials for tobacco cessation products and techniques.
You’ll find a complete list of organizations that want smokers for their clinical trials including details whether they’re recruiting members or not.
Find a clinical trial for smoking cessation in your area and register. Usually, these organizations pay between $300 and $500 per trial, depending upon duration and other factors.
Savings on Health Insurance
You get paid to quit smoking by health insurance companies, though not directly. Under Affordable Care Act, insurance companies have the right to charge up to 50 percent higher premiums on health plans for smokers.
No discounts are included in the amended Act for smokers. Hence, you could be paying double the cost of a regular health plan for family and self if you are a smoker.
This can work to an astounding $300 to $500 extra premium a year or even higher, depending upon the health plan and insurer.
Want to save this huge sum of money on health insurance? There’s free help available, again from the US government. Visit Smokefree.gov.
This website is a goldmine of resources for everyone that wants to kick the tobacco habit. You can create own tobacco cessation program, get online help from experts, download apps to help quit smoking and get lots of other free stuff.
Free Nicotine Patches
Quitplan.com, a website offers free nicotine patches, gum and lozenges to residents of Minnesota that are 18 and above. Visit the website and register to get two weeks free supply of nicotine patches, gum and lozenges as starter kit.
This free starter kit would otherwise cost you between $150 and $200, if you buy online, from a local pharmacy or supermarket.
While registering, you’ve to provide some details to Quitplan.com, especially your medical history. A physician at Quitplan.com will assess your physical fitness before the organization mails you the free starter kit to quit smoking.
Another organization, Nobutts.org gives free nicotine patches to Asian-language speakers and callers to their helpline that live with children below 5 years age in California. You can find similar programs in your state too.
Incentives from Employers
Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) 2018 Employee Benefit Survey Report says, 16 percent American employers provide a discount on health insurance to employees that don’t smoke or use other tobacco products.
About 10 percent employers provide discounts on health plans to those participating in smoking cessation programs. And, 18 percent employers impose a penalty on employees that smoke.
This means, you can save considerably on employee sponsored medical insurance merely by quitting smokes.
A survey by Vitality Group clearly reveals employees are willing to kick smoking habit if they get some cash incentives from their employers. A report quoting the survey says, it costs employers $3,000 to $6,000 per year to hire smokers compared over non-smokers.
Hence, such incentives and tobacco cessation plans make sense. At the same time, there are several American companies, small and large, that pay bonus of $500 or more per year for employees that quit smoking.
Faith Based Organizations
You might also get some money and other assistance from faith-based organizations to quit smoking.
Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has a list of such organizations that are partnering with the Federal government to encourage their followers to quit smoking. You would definitely find such a faith based organization in your area.
Other than providing free resources, some of these organizations might also provide cash incentives to kick the tobacco vice.
However, each faith based organization would have their own criteria to be eligible for any incentives. Usually, they provide lots of faith-based support if you’re serious about giving up tobacco for good.
Tax Savings on Cigarettes
Depending upon where you live in America, you could be paying anything between $4.35 and 17 Cents as taxes on every pack of cigarettes.
State administrations levy heavy taxes on cigarettes hoping it would prevent people from smoking. Unfortunately, high taxes haven’t shown to be a major factor to make people give up smoking.
The number of cigarettes an American woman or man smokes per day varies steeply. About 680,000 Americans smoke more than 40 cigarettes daily while 11.5 percent consume between 11 and 19 cigarettes a day.
Depending upon how many cigarettes you consume daily, it’s easy to calculate how much extra money you are spending as taxes on tobacco every year.
Quitting smoking is beneficial to your health, as every medical research proves. And it’s beneficial for the environment too. However, most people don’t quit smoking for various reasons.
When we smoke, nicotine from the burning tobacco enters our blood stream through lungs and soothes the brain.
This anti-stress effect is what drives people to pick the smoking habit. However, smoking is not injurious only for your health: it impacts several other things around us, especially family and colleagues.
Hence, giving up cigarettes is an excellent idea. And even better when you get paid to quit smoking.