The Ultimate Cost Guide to Quitting Smoking in Singapore (2022)

Updated: Jan 12


cost guide to quit smoking in singapore

In this article

  1. Introduction

  2. What are ways to help quit smoking?

  3. What is the breakdown of the costs of quitting smoking?

  4. What is the difference in costs between public and private institutions?

  5. Are there any subsidies for quitting smoking?

  6. Are quitting smoking treatments Medisave claimable?

  7. What should I consider apart from the costs?

  8. Where can I seek help?


Introduction


Smoking can cause or increase the risk of many diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) [1] and even gum diseases. In fact, cigarette smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer [2], which is the third most common cancer in men and women in Singapore [3]. 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.


ways to quit smoking singapore

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 [4].


Gradual reduction

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 [5]. The dosage of nicotine that should be used is dependent on how heavy a smoker is.


Medication

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.


Counselling

Studies have shown strong evidence that individual behavioural therapy can help smokers in quitting smoking [6]. 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:

  • Consultation

  • Therapy

  • Medications

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)


What is the difference in costs between public and private institutions?

Public

Private

Consultation

$6.90 - $67.80

$27 - $70

Therapy

Free - $182 per session

$180 - $200 per session

Medications

Not indicated

$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 [7]. 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. [8] Under this, you may claim up to $500 per year for outpatient treatment.


considerations when quitting smoking singapore

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?

Hospitals

You may approach hospitals which usually have smoking cessation support available.

Hospital

Address & Contact No.

Price

Singapore General Hospital

Outram Road, Singapore 169603

Lung Center (Clinic B)


6222 3322


Not indicated

Tan Tock Seng Hospital

11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433

Smoking Cessation Clinic


6889 4343 / 6357 7000


$25 (1st session)

$15 (follow ups)


Alexandra Hospital

378 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159964

Osteoporosis Clinic


6379 3330/3331


Not indicated

Changi General Hospital

2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889


6850 3333


Not indicated


Polyclinics

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. [9]


These polyclinics include:

  • Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic

  • Hougang Polyclinic

  • Yishun Polyclinic

  • Geylang Polyclinic

  • Toa Payoh Polyclinic

  • Yishun 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.

Conclusion

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.


Take care of yourself. Manage your stress and pick up some self-care tips here.

 

At frankie, we make mental healthcare and wellness easy for all with just one small task a day. Head on guided wellness journeys that understand your stressors or triggers or work with our behavioural and wellness professionals - all from the comfort and privacy of your home. Sign up for our Closed BETA here.

 

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.

 

References:


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Health Effects. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/health_effects/index.htm [Accessed 3 Jun. 2021].


2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2019). What Are the Risk Factors for Lung Cancer? [online] Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/risk_factors.htm [Accessed 3 Jun. 2021].


3. National Cancer Centre Singapore (n.d.). Cancer Statistics. [online] www.nccs.com.sg. Available at: https://www.nccs.com.sg/patient-care/cancer-types/cancer-statistics/ [Accessed 3 Jun. 2021].


4. Mayo Clinic (2018). Nicotine dependence - Symptoms and causes. [online] Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nicotine-dependence/symptoms-causes/syc-20351584 [Accessed 3 Jun. 2021].


5. Nides, M. (2008) Update on Pharmacologic Options for Smoking Cessation Treatment. The American journal of medicine. [Online] 121 (4), S20–S31. [Accessed 3 Jun. 2021].


6. Lancaster, T. and Stead, L.F. (2017). Individual behavioural counselling for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, [online] 3(3). Available at: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001292.pub3/full [Accessed 4 Jun. 2021].


7. Teo, J. (2020). Parliament: Smokers to get subsidies for nicotine replacement therapy. [online] The Straits Times. Available at: https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/smokers-to-get-subsidies-for-nicotine-replacement-therapy [Accessed 4 Jun. 2021].


8. Ministry of Health (2018). Healthcare Professionals Includes instructions on use of MediSave for CDMP and chronic subsidies under Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) Chronic Disease Management Programme. [online] . Available at: https://www.moh.gov.sg/docs/librariesprovider4/guidelines/cdmp-handbook-for-professionals.pdf [Accessed 4 Jun. 2021].


9. Villar, A. (2020). Support services to help you quit smoking in Singapore. [online] AsiaOne. Available at: https://www.asiaone.com/lifestyle/support-services-help-you-quit-smoking-singapore [Accessed 3 Jun. 2021].