In recognition of “World No Tobacco Day” on May 31, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)  will reaffirm its “Better Starts Today” campaign, calling on Veterans who use tobacco to discover reasons to quit and take advantage of innovative VA resources to help them succeed.

Led annually by the World Health Organization, VA’s observance of World No Tobacco Day aims to encourage Veterans using tobacco products to quit and join countless others across the globe in starting a tobacco-free life.

“Quitting tobacco products is one of the best things Veterans can do to improve  their emotional and physical health, and overall quality of life,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA also understands the challenges that come with quitting. That’s why we are using World No Tobacco Day as a platform to talk about the innovative tools that will guide Veterans toward a tobacco-free, healthy life.”

Veterans don’t have to do it alone. VA national resources include:

  • Quit VET, a toll-free national quit line at 855-QUIT-VET (855-784-8838) for Veterans to speak with a tobacco cessation counselor, make a quit plan and receive ongoing counseling after their quit date. Quit line counselors are available between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday.
  • SmokefreeVET, a text-message program (text VET to 47848) offering Veterans three to five texts a day with advice and encouragement to help them while they stop using tobacco. Veterans can also text the keywords URGE, STRESS, SMOKED, and DIPPED anytime to receive an immediate tip for coping with an urge to use, a slip or stress.

For more information and resources about tobacco cessation and how Veterans’ families and

friends can help, visit

Soldiers on the ground near a smoking pitVeterans in Burn Pit Registry helping fellow Vets
A man wears a 3D visorAt Tech Day, VHA highlights how innovation is reshaping health care delivery for Veterans through 3D printing and virtual reality

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One Comment

  1. John R. Polito May 31, 2019 at 7:48 am

    A 9-year submarine service vet, 20 years ago I arrested my 30-year addiction to smoking nicotine which had grown to 3 packs-a-day. Super excited about being free and sicked that I’d waited so long, that year I established a totally-free quitting site. My goal was to help motivate others to follow suit. I named it Each year the site receives more than 2 million visitors.

    Today being World No Tobacco Day 2019, I write inviting you to dream about being free. Imagine a temporary journey of readjustment which leads to entire days where you never once think about wanting to smoke. Tis amazing how that happens. Thank each of you for your service to our nation. But it’s time for a new mission. Just that first brave step, yes you can!

    Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

    MTI (SS) John R. Polito
    Nicotine Cessation Educator

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