Quit During the Great American Smokeout

Every year on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society sponsors the "Great American Smokeout," an event that challenges tobacco users to finally kick the habit and take a positive step forward for their overall health. Of course, this is not an easy undertaking by any stretch of the imagination, but you may be able to find help in unexpected places.

Here are a few ways to prepare for your anti-smoking plan:

Use your flexible spending account (FSA)!

If you have an FSA through your job, smoking-cessation aids such as nicotine gum, patches and more are eligible for reimbursement with a prescription from your doctor. These nicotine-replacement therapies start with a high concentration of nicotine, and users gradually step down over time to smaller increments until they're not needed at all. These products are ready for purchase with an FSA, HSA or HRA at FSAstore.com (remember, a prescription is required for reimbursement)!

Invest in an anti-smoking prescription drug

In addition to nicotine-replacement therapy, a number of prescription smoking cessation products have also hit the market in recent years that do not use nicotine and instead manipulate brain chemistry to reduce cravings and mitigate the withdrawal process. These anti-smoking drugs may have some adverse side effects, so it's best to go over your options with a physician to develop an anti-smoking plan that will prove most effective for your goals.

Join an anti-smoking support group

Research has shown that individuals who attempt to quit smoking are far more successful when they combine a traditional anti-smoking product/medication with a support system to keep them on track. Some of these options include telephone hotlines, guide books, anti-smoking support groups, online quit groups, counseling sessions and enlisting the support of family and friends. Ideally, combining two to three of these methods with anti-smoking aids/medications will dramatically increase your chances of success.

Today, 1 in 5 American adults still smoke cigarettes, but that number is decreasing each year thanks to public awareness programs like the "Great American Smokeout." Whether you're trying to kick the habit or providing support to a loved one, it's a decision that you'll never regret.

Shop for FSA eligible smoking deterrents at FSAstore.com.

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