Most people make several attempts before they stop using tobacco for good. Whether you’re ready to try for the first time or the next time, remember: every attempt helps you get closer to your goal.
Work with your VA provider to explore what works — and what doesn’t — for you. They can help you can identify your triggers and learn ways to handle them without tobacco.
VA encourages Veterans to use a combination of counseling and medication to stop using tobacco. There are many treatment options available through VA. If you’ve tried once before, try again. No matter how many times it takes, VA will work with you to find the combination of options — including a variety of proven, effective therapies and medications — that are right for you.
Don’t stop trying. Try stopping, even if you have tried once, twice, 15 times or never before.
Find your motivation
It may help propel you toward your goal to consider the ways your life can improve once you’re free of tobacco. For some people, that might mean working out harder, playing with their children longer, eliminating smoking breaks at work, and enjoying time with friends, uninterrupted by the need to use tobacco.
Be able to play with your children longer.
Some might find a financial incentive in saving money spent on cigarettes or smokeless tobacco. Whatever your motivation, VA can help you identify and focus on it.
Don’t stop doing things you enjoy. Stop using tobacco to enjoy those things more.
Explore your options
Stopping tobacco use is seldom easy, but VA has helped many Veterans stop chewing, dipping and smoking. We can help you, too. VA has many approaches to help end your relationship with tobacco, including the best combination of tools for long-term success:
- Tobacco cessation counseling can help you make changes to your behavior that will break your emotional ties to tobacco use. VA offers counseling, in person or by phone, to talk about your tobacco use and to identify strategies for coping with the triggers that make you want to use tobacco.
Counseling helps you to identify changes you can make to your routine that can help you quit.
- FDA-approved medications, like nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), the patch, gum, lozenge, and bupropion and varenicline can help you manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms and overcome the urge to smoke.
Your VA health care provider can help you decide which options are likely to work best for you. You can sign in to My HealtheVet to access support and contact your VA primary care or mental health care provider.
Don’t stop trying. Try stopping – with VA’s help.
Embrace your opportunities
Every week, month and year spent free of tobacco brings new opportunities to improve your quality of life. This World No Tobacco Day (May 31), talk to your primary care or mental health provider about the many VA resources that can help you stop using tobacco, including:
- Quit VET: Veterans can call 1-855-QUIT-VET (1-855-784-8838) to receive tobacco cessation counseling and get help building their plan to quit. Quitline counselors are available Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET to help Veterans prepare for potential challenges and avoid relapse. These tobacco cessation counselors offer continued support through follow-up calls and counseling.
- SmokefreeVET: For tools and tips to quit, Veterans can sign up for SmokefreeVET by texting VET to 47848. SmokefreeVET provides regular text messages as well as extra support at Veterans’ fingertips when they text the keywords URGE, STRESS, DIPPED or SMOKED to 47848. Para inscribirse en SmokefreeVET en español, manda el texto VETesp al 47848.
When you’re ready, VA can help with tobacco cessation counseling and medications provided through all VA medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics. To find the VA location closest to you, visit www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp.
Don’t stop trying. Try stopping — as many times as it takes.
Courtesy the VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Tobacco and Health Program.