Does French medical health insurance cover nicotine alternative treatments?


Reader query: I’m an energetic smoker in France and I’m desperately looking to provide it up. I actually have been looking into nicotine substitutes (like patches) and I used to be wondering in the event that they are reimbursed by the state or Assurance Maladie?

Treatment to assist people wean themselves of tobacco addiction using nicotine substitutes is named thérapie de substitution nicotinique (TSN) in French. This will include patches, sweets, pills, etc.

Nicotine patches or sweets was once reimbursed as much as a limit of €150 per yr, but this was modified in 2019. 

Since then, state healthcare has reimbursed certain nicotine substitutes at 65%  – the identical rate as medicine. You may see a listing of the treatments covered here. 

You would like a prescription out of your GP, nurse, dentist or midwife (for pregnant women) to get the reimbursement.

Specialist tabacologues — medical professionals who guide smokers of their efforts to quit smoking – also exist for anti-smoking advice. You could find your nearest one using this search tool. 

Patches, sweets, pills and other TSNs might be bought from pharmacies and they sometimes now offer tiers payant for this, meaning you don’t want to pay the fees which are covered by your medical insurance up front, if you’ve a carte Vitale and top-up medical insurance.

You can too buy these nicotine substitutes and not using a prescription in pharmacies, but you is not going to be eligible for reimbursement. 

Alongside the usual healthcare reimbursement of 65%, increasingly top-up healthcare insurance policies (mutuelles) at the moment are also reimbursing treatments to assist people quit smoking.

It means your mutuelle may cover the remaining 35% of the associated fee not covered by state insurance, aside from a €0.50 charge per treatment for a fee called the franchise médicale that you’ll either should pay without reimbursement (in case you are paying upfront) or that will likely be deducted routinely from a future reimbursement in case you use le tiers payant.

Some top-up insurance policies also cover the associated fee of consultations with tobacco specialists in addition to (normally inside certain limits) alternative therapies comparable to acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnosis etc. 

A phone app, Tabac info service, can provide personalised help to quit smoking. 

The federal government also has a site geared toward helping people to set a goal of 1 month without smoking, as they are saying those that do it are more likely to give you the chance to stop for good. 

Smoking in play parks is banned and punishable by a advantageous of as much as €450. Cigarettes have to be sold in plain standardised cigarette packaging and there may be a ban on smoking in cars where minors are present.

Using e-cigarettes instead, or a way of cutting down, is popular. There may be some evidence that they’re less harmful, no less than within the short-term.

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