Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Smoking harms the lungs, heart, and nearly every organ in the body. What is well-known in any case is the fact that quitting will not only improve your health, it will also save you money.
Make a plan to quit
- Set a quit date.
- Tell your family and friends.
- Anticipate and plan for challenges.
- Remove cigarettes from your home and car.
- Talk to your doctor – ask about medications and counseling support.
Veterans have many options to receive tobacco cessation treatment without leaving home:
- Call TeleQuit. TeleQuit provides smoking cessation medications, education, counseling and follow-ups without needing to leave home. TeleQuit/VISN 21 Smoking Cessation Program: 1-800-455-0057 ext.60557, or 650-849-0557
- Talk to your doctor about using the nicotine patch, gum, lozenges, or other medications to help you quit. They can prescribe medication and have it mailed to your home.
- Call Quit VET to speak to a tobacco cessation counselor between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday in English or Spanish. Quit VET connects Veterans to a trained counselor who can help develop a quit plan and provide ongoing counseling and support to prevent relapse. (1-855-QUIT-VET, 1-855-784-8838)
- Sign up for SmokefreeVET to receive texts with encouragement and support by texting VET to 47848. (For Spanish text VETESP to 47848). The benefits of signing up include regular text messages and tips when you text the keywords URGE, STRESS, or SMOKED.
- Follow the SmokefreeVET Facebook page for tips and encouragement from other Veterans.
- Find VA resources and more tips for quitting on the VA Tobacco and Health and gov websites.
- VHA’s Stop Smoking YouTube channel features stories of others who have stopped smoking as well as tips to help you stop using tobacco.
Technology has made it possible for all of us to stay connected. Seek support from your family, friends, mentors, clergy members, and people you know who are having experiences like yours. As a Veteran, your resilience and strength can also assist others during these times.
Keep your mental health appointments
Learn ways to connect with VA providers. VA offers both video and phone tele-mental health options instead of going to your closest facility in-person, should you have a medical concern or need to follow specific physical distancing guidelines in your community.
Schedule or reschedule your appointment online. If you are requesting a new mental health appointment, please call your local VA and they will work to arrange an appointment for you. If you need same day access for mental health services, call your local VA to request this and you will be connected to care.
Stay informed, stay engaged
Stay engaged with VA information as it becomes available so you can continue to maintain your mental health:
- You can communicate with your care team, track your health information, and access your VA health records from your computer or mobile device with My HealtheVet.
- VA Video Connect provides secure video visits with your VA care team from anywhere.
- Mental health apps for Veterans provide tools to manage feelings of stress and anxiety and remain in contact with VA care providers.
- Healthy sleep at My HealtheVet provides guidance on getting the right amount of daily sleep.