Posted on

VA Assists Veterans To Stop Smoking, Chewing Tobacco

For World No Tobacco Day, discover how the VA helps veterans stop smoking, dipping and chewing tobacco. After all, it’s never too late to toss tobacco and boost your health.

No matter how long you’ve been using tobacco, when you stop using it, you’ll notice some positive changes almost immediately. You’ll also improve your health over the years to come.

That’s why on May 31 — for World No Tobacco Day — VA is reminding Veterans that it’s never too late to stop. Now is the time to take advantage of the many VA resources that help Veterans quit smoking, chewing or dipping.

Improve your physical and mental health Any time is the right time to stop using tobacco. Whether you’re 18 or 81, you and those around you will feel the benefits of stopping tobacco use, and the benefits will continue to build over time.

When you stop smoking, you lower your risk for the common cold, the flu, and pneumonia. You also can reduce feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression — giving anxiety and depression medications the best chance of working properly. Your nights may become more restful when you quit tobacco use because the nicotine in tobacco can make it difficult to sleep.

Just a year after you stop smoking, your risk of heart disease goes down by half. Within two to five years, your risk of stroke decreases and may match that of a nonsmoker. Within five to 10 years, your risk of certain types of cancer is cut in half. Similar benefits apply when you stop using smokeless tobacco.

Find the way to stop using tobacco that works for you For World No Tobacco Day on May 31, learn about the many ways VA can support you along your journey to stopping tobacco use — from developing a quit plan to supporting long-term abstinence.

Even if you’ve tried to stop before, your VA provider can help you try a new therapy or combination of treatments that may work for you.

• Counseling: VA offers group and individual counseling to talk about everyday tobacco use, identify triggers for use, and make lifestyle changes that can help Veterans quit. Counseling is available in person or through VA Video Connect, VA’s secure videoconferencing app. You can use My HealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal, to send your VA provider a secure message to learn more about your options.

• Medications: To help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms and cravings that come with stopping tobacco use, VA offers prescription medications and nicotine replacement therapy in the form of nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, and nasal spray. You can also learn more about your medication options by reaching out to your VA provider on My Healthe-Vet.

• Quit VET: Veterans can call 1-855-QUIT-VET (1-855784-8838) for counseling and help with developing a plan to stop tobacco use, such as smoking and smokeless tobacco use. Quitline counselors are available Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET to help you prepare for potential challenges and avoid relapse. Counselors offer continued support in English or Spanish through follow-up calls.

• SmokefreeVET: For tools and tips you can use to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco, sign up for SmokefreeVET by texting VET to 47848. Smokefree-VET provides regular text messages and also provides a message with extra support when Veterans text the keywords URGE, STRESS, or SMOKED to 47848. Text the word DIPPED instead of SMOKED to receive a tailored tip for quitting smokeless tobacco. Para inscribirse en SmokefreeVET en español, manda el texto VETesp al 47848. Learn more on the SmokefreeVET website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *