Want to Kick the Habit? VA Can Help

The bad news: About 440,000 Americans die each year from tobacco-related illnesses.

The good news: Over three million Americans successfully quit smoking each year, and the Department of Veterans Affairs wants you to be one of them.

“VA Medical Centers across the country have tobacco cessation support programs for our Veterans,” said Patrick Smart, a Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program Manager at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla, Wash. “These programs will guide you through lessons that can be accessed online or in person, including information about preparing to quit, tips on your quit day, overcoming roadblocks, getting used to life as a tobacco-free person, and supportive strategies to help you remain abstinent.”

You’re Never Alone

Smart, who helps teach a tobacco cessation class one day each week at the medical center, said peer support is a major factor in quitting the tobacco habit.

“We had one Veteran in our class who was at 20 cigarettes a day,” he said. “One week later, he was down to two a day. Then, when he showed up for class the following week, he had gone back up to three. He was discouraged. He was really beating…

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