Ready to kick the tobacco habit?

November 01, 2023
focus on hands breaking a cigarette in half

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and leads to more than 480,000 deaths each year. If you’re interested in stopping tobacco use, whether it’s your first or 14th time, your HealthSelectSM medical plan has resources to help you make this the last time you quit. Plus, quitting tobacco can save you money each month! Complete ERS’ Choose to Quit program and have your tobacco user premium waived.

Meet Tanisha, who quit tobacco for good with the help of her HealthSelect medical plan.

Tanisha’s story

When her family moved to a new city in the middle of her senior year, "Tanisha" (a real participant whose name has been change) started smoking to fit in with other students at her new high school. By the time she went to university, her social smoking had become a regular habit.

Both of her parents had smoked when Tanisha was growing up, and as they got older, she watched them develop a number of health conditions directly related to tobacco use. Her parents’ declining health and her new position at a Texas state agency made her realize that it was time for her to quit smoking for good.

Like many smokers, Tanisha had quit before only to start again when she went through stressful times in her life. This time was going to be different. As a benefits coordinator and HealthSelect medical plan participant, she knew about the resources available to help her on her journey to become and stay tobacco free.

First, she enrolled in the Quitting Tobacco self-management program in Well onTarget®, which is based on research from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society. The program helps with physical, mental and cultural factors that lead to addiction. Once she successfully completed the program, she had her doctor certify her completion through the Employees Retirement System of Texas’ Choose to Quit program, and she was able to have her tobacco user premium waived.

For Tanisha, quitting had been pretty easy in the past; it was staying tobacco free that was hard. To help ensure her success, as soon as she finished the Quitting Tobacco program, she enrolled in the Staying Tobacco Free program, which helped her build on the healthy habits she learned in the first program. She found the part of the program that taught her to identify and avoid situations that caused her to want to smoke to be the most helpful.

Get help today

If you are struggling with tobacco use, getting help is as simple as logging into Well onTarget and finding the program that best fits your situation.

For more details, visit the Tobacco Cessation page on the HealthSelect website or call a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Personal Health Assistant toll free at (800) 252-8039 (TTY: 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. CT.

Remember to take it one day at a time. Consider participating in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on November 16. This event could be the first day of your journey toward a tobacco-free life!