The guys in my infantry squad were always lighting up another cigarette. Before patrols, during patrols, after long missions and endless guard tower stints—it was an endless cycle that relieved stress and gave idle hands something to do.

But now many of those guys are trying to quit smoking, and for good reason. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you, but few realize how destructive it really is. Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke two to four times and kills nearly half a million people every year. It can also contribute to infertility, low birth weight and a variety of deadly cancers.

If you’re looking to quit, the health benefits are immediate. Your sense of smell and taste improve after just two days, and your risk of heart disease drops by half after a year.

Quitting isn’t about going cold turkey anymore. VA has established group sessions to help Veterans quit smoking, which has shown positive results compared to going at it alone. If you want to quit today, visit your local VA facility or call 1-877-222-8387.

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Published on Sep. 19, 2012

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  1. George D. Bradley II September 20, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I have been wondering why alot of people criticize the VA. The help that is provided is a benefit, Some have truely earned, others swear that its owed.

  2. George D. Bradley II September 20, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Thanks for everything you guy do!

  3. Al Fresco September 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Seriously? You use a picture of 3 KATUSAs smoking to illustrate your post? I guess there are not enough GIs smoking to worry about, then?

    • Alex Horton September 20, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Hey Al, had a hard time finding a photo of US troops smoking, so went with that. Tracked down a better photo for it this morning.

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