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As schools and hospitals around the nation continue to raise awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is working with its members to help them quit smoking and improve their health.

“There are many reasons to quit smoking and enhancing your health is certainly one of them,” Karl Siebert, director of Wellness Program Operations for the insurer, said in a news release.

“The benefits start immediately after you stop smoking, but there are just as many health benefits that people will see long-term after quitting as well,” Siebert said.

Quitting is a challenge, but for BlueCross BlueShield members, the resources and support they need are available when someone decides they are ready to quit. Several smoking cessation programs to help people stay focused and achieve long-term health benefits can be found online at www.bcbswny.com and typing “smoking cessation” into the search box.

The same search strategy also works at www.independenthealth.com.