Like most things in life, quitting smoking happens one day at a time. Make Nov.15 the first day of a better life.

VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Tobacco and Health Policy national Office is observing the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 15 with our Better Starts Today campaign.

The Great American Smokeout challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps them learn about the many tools available to make a quit plan and stick to it. For Veterans, VA offers a variety of resources to help them take the first step and hundreds and thousands more ultimately leading toward a healthier, longer live with their loved ones.

Smokers from across the nation and from every background will take part in the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 15. Many of those will use the date to plan to quit or they can plan to quit smoking that day.

Over 70% of enrolled Veterans have quit

Many Veterans used tobacco while they served, particularly during deployment. Now seven out of ten Veterans who smoke would like to quit — for both the physical and mental health benefits. Of Veterans who have ever smoked who are enrolled in VA health care, 71 percent have successfully quit smoking,  showing that quitting is possible, especially with a treatment plan that includes counseling and medication.

VA health care providers offer a range of cessation resources, including individual counseling, group classes, phone and telehealth clinics, and FDA-approved medications.

Apps and Texts to help you quit

VA also offers resources such as Quit VET, a toll-free national line for Veterans who receive health care from VA; SmokefreeVET, a text messaging service that provides Veterans with daily encouragement while they stop smoking and Stay Quit Coach, a mobile app specifically designed to help Veterans quit tobacco.

Click here for more information and to learn more about tobacco cessation.

If you’ve thought about quitting smoking but haven’t picked a date yet, or if you’ve tried before and are ready to commit to making the change for good, now’s the time to start living a better life!

Having trouble getting started? Check out these resources:

Local VA health care providers: Set up an appointment with your primary care or mental health provider. They can help you determine the right combination of counseling and medication to meet your needs. You can also call your local VA Medical Center to learn about the different tobacco cessation programs available.

Quit VET: Speak with a tobacco cessation counselor and make a quit plan by calling 1-855-QUIT-VET (1-855-784-8838). Quitline counselors are available between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

SmokefreeVET: This text messaging service provides daily encouragement for those quitting smoking. Text “VET” to 47848 or visit to start receiving supportive messages today.

Stay Quit Coach: This mobile app helps Veterans quit smoking, with tools and information specifically addressing the needs of Veterans with PTSD. It’s available for free to download from the App Store and Android Apps.

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Published on Nov. 15, 2018

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One Comment

  1. Mike Jones November 18, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    A 71% success rate is pretty amazing. Just imagine if this type of course was available to every citizen of the USA. Talk about a serious reduction in preventable illnesses.

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