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Is smokeless tobacco interfering with your goals?

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Think about the ways your life could improve if you stopped using smokeless tobacco. Join the Great American Spit Out on February 24 and explore the many tobacco use treatment options available through VA.

We are here to support you taking the first steps to stop chewing or dipping — even before you quit for good. When you’re ready, your VA health care provider can help you make changes in your tobacco use that prepare you to stop for good. Your health care provider can help you choose from prescription medications, nicotine replacement therapy, counseling and other programs that provide support on your quit journey.

Many Veterans try several treatment approaches before they land on the one that works. If you have ever attempted to stop chewing or dipping, before you try again, ask yourself two questions:

“Why did I want to stop before?” The answer can remind you of your lifestyle goals, big and small. Maybe you’ve always wanted to run a marathon, or your dental bills have skyrocketed, or you’re just tired of worrying about where you can go to spit. Let your goal motivate you along your journey toward a tobacco-free life.

“What barriers did I face?” Answering this question can be tougher. Barriers can be complex, but many people just need support to overcome them.

If you can focus on the first answer, VA can help you identify strategies to take care of the second by providing treatments proven to help Veterans stop chewing and dipping for good.

Stop before you stop.

When you’re ready to change your tobacco use, contact your health care provider about tobacco use treatment. The sooner your care team can offer you support and guidance, the better your experience will be.

Keep in mind: You don’t have to do it alone. Your provider will be there every step of the way and can explain additional options that might work better for you, including:

  • Counseling: Counseling offers Veterans the best chance of becoming and staying tobacco-free when combined with another treatment, such as a prescription medication or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). VA provides remote, group and individual counseling for you to talk about your tobacco use, triggers and lifestyle changes that can help you overcome the urge to dip or chew. VA medical centers and VA community clinics routinely provide tobacco use counseling. It’s also available through VA Video Connect, VA’s secure videoconferencing app. Ask your provider about counseling options at Minneapolis VA such as individual therapy and a virtual tobacco cessation group.
  • Telephone Lifestyle Coaching: If stress is a barrier to quitting, ask your provider about a referral to the Telephone Lifestyle Coaching program!
  • Medications and NRT: VA offers prescription medications and NRT products — gum, patches, and lozenges — to help relieve nicotine withdrawal symptoms and tobacco cravings. Your VA health care provider can guide you through the available options and help you decide which one might work best for you.
  • Quit VET: Veterans can call 855-QUIT-VET (855-784-8838) for counseling and help in developing a plan to stop dipping and chewing. Quitline counselors are available Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. CT, to help you prepare for potential challenges and avoid relapse. Counselors offer continued support through follow-up calls and counseling sessions, available in English or Spanish. Ask your provider for a referral today.
  • SmokefreeVET: For tools and tips you can use to stop dipping and chewing, sign up for SmokefreeVET by texting VET to 47848. SmokefreeVET provides regular text messages as well as extra support when you text the keywords DIPPED, URGE, or STRESS to 47848. Para inscribirse en SmokefreeVET en español, manda el texto VETesp al 47848.

Don’t quit trying. Try quitting — as many times as it takes.

It can be tough to stop using smokeless tobacco, and many people make several attempts before they stop for good. But every attempt helps you learn more about quitting. Whether you have tried once, twice or 15 times, take the lessons you’ve learned and try quitting again with new tools and a renewed focus on your goals. No matter how many times it takes, VA will be with you every step of the way, with more proven resources than ever before.

Take a moment to imagine your life without dipping, chewing and spitting. Then talk with your health care provider about VA’s tobacco use treatment options to find the ones that meet your needs and can help you improve your life, health, and future.

Use the facility locator tool to find a VA facility near you.

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