Updated: Jan 12, 2022
In this article
Smoking can cause or increase the risk of many diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)  and even gum diseases. In fact, cigarette smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer , which is the third most common cancer in men and women in Singapore . Secondhand smoke can also cause adverse health effects which include coronary heart disease and stroke to non-smokers. As such, it is important to reduce or even quit smoking to protect one’s health as well as those around them.
Read on to find out more about ways to quit smoking and its costs.
What are ways to help quit smoking?
Quitting smoking is not as easy as it seems. Nicotine present in cigarettes is addictive and quitting can result in withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, moodiness and restlessness .
One way to quit smoking is by cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. Gradual reduction of the number of cigarettes smoked per day can help to lower your body’s dependence on cigarettes and help make quitting smoking easier. Some people may go cold turkey. However, this takes a lot of willpower to resist any temptations to revert back to smoking.
Nicotine replacement therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy works by providing nicotine in the form of gums, patches, sprays, inhalers or lozenges without the harmful chemicals found in tobacco. This helps smokers to quit smoking as it reduces the withdrawal symptoms and cravings . The dosage of nicotine that should be used is dependent on how heavy a smoker is.
Medications such as bupropion hydrochloride and varenicline are effective in treating dependence on tobacco. These help to reduce the effects of nicotine withdrawal and aid in the process of quitting smoking by reducing the urge to smoke. These medications are only available with a doctor’s prescription.
Studies have shown strong evidence that individual behavioural therapy can help smokers in quitting smoking . One of the most common behavioural therapy is cognitive-behavioural therapy, where the therapist gets the individual to identify and change negative thoughts that influence their behaviour and emotions negatively. This can involve practising new skills and goal-setting.
What is the breakdown of the costs of quitting smoking?
The cost of quitting smoking can range from $6.90 to more than $300.
This is dependent on a number of factors such as:
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
What is the difference in costs between public and private institutions?
$6.90 - $67.80
$27 - $70
Free - $182 per session
$180 - $200 per session
$1.69 - $2.58 per pill
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
$0.93 - $1.40 per piece
$0.93 - $1.40 per piece
Are there any subsidies for quitting smoking?
Currently, there are no subsidies available for smoking cessation . However, the government is aiming to roll out a pilot smoking cessation programme that will see smokers receive full subsidies for nicotine replacement therapy.
Are quitting smoking treatments Medisave claimable?
Yes, medications for the management of the approved chronic conditions by the Ministry of Health, which includes nicotine replacement therapy, are Medisave-claimable.  Under this, you may claim up to $500 per year for outpatient treatment.
What should I consider apart from the costs?
There are certainly a few other factors you should consider, other than costs to help your smoking cessation journey easier.
How heavy of a smoker you are: Being a heavy smoker typically means that it would be harder for you to quit smoking cold turkey. As such, heavy smokers can consider taking medications or NRT to help them stop smoking.
Motivation to quit smoking: High motivation is thought to be the reason for the success of quitting smoking. It is important to have sufficient motivation to overcome the challenges that you will encounter during the quitting process.
Withdrawal symptoms: Different people will experience different levels and types of withdrawal symptoms, hence it is important to understand them in order to overcome these symptoms.
Where can I seek help?
You may approach hospitals which usually have smoking cessation support available.
Address & Contact No.
Singapore General Hospital
Outram Road, Singapore 169603
Lung Center (Clinic B)
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433
Smoking Cessation Clinic
6889 4343 / 6357 7000
$25 (1st session)
$15 (follow ups)
378 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159964
Changi General Hospital
2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889
Most of the polyclinics under the National Healthcare Group provide Smoking Cessation Programme. Under this programme, the polyclinics offer counselling and follow up sessions to ensure that the individual manages to quit smoking for good. 
These polyclinics include:
Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic
Toa Payoh Polyclinic
Helplines & Support Groups
In Singapore, there is a quit smoking helpline (QuitLine) at 1800 438 2000. There are also a handful of support groups that can help you in your journey of quitting smoking.
I Quit Programme: You can check out the list of participating pharmacies that can help you get started on their 28-day I Quit programme here.
National Addiction Management Service (NAMS): NAMS offer counselling and behavioural modification that can help you quit smoking for good. You can contact them by calling 6732 6837 (6-RECOVER).
Smoking Cessation Programme: This programme is offered by the Institute of Mental Health which offers support and care to patients who require help in quitting smoking. The pharmacy clinic offers free consultation and you can contact them by calling 6389 2000.
Substance or Alcohol Recovery Programme by WE CARE: This programme offers treatment planning and counselling that are tailored to each individual. You can contact them at 3165 8017.
Smoking poses health risks not just to the smoker himself, but also to the people around him. As such, it is important to deter people from smoking. With upcoming government subsidies, quitting smoking will be cheaper.
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This editorial section solely expresses the opinion of frankie and is not endorsed nor commissioned by any external party. The list is non-exhaustive. At frankie, we believe that your best provider of medical advice is your doctor. Please consult a doctor before undergoing any treatment or procedure.
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