, NY — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is encouraging Veterans to take the first step, Nov. 19, to stop smoking as part of the annual Great American Smokeout to improve their physical and mental health by combining cessation counseling with other VA clinical resources and support.
Research shows behavioral counseling can significantly improve one’s chances of quitting and combining counseling and medication works better than medication or counseling alone.
To observe this year’s Great American Smokeout the Tobacco and Health program is encouraging Veterans to enjoy a life free from smoking — and providing a variety of resources to support Veterans in making the first steps to stop smoking.
VA’s smoking/tobacco counseling programs are one of the most effective tools available for Veterans who want to permanently stop smoking/tobacco use. VA health care providers can help Veterans explore the role tobacco plays in their daily routine, including the activities or situations that trigger someone to use tobacco products. These triggers can include talking on the phone, drinking coffee or alcohol or feeling bored or stressed.
VA providers work with Veterans to develop strategies for coping with those triggers and to tailor plans for quitting that will fit into each Veteran’s everyday life.
In addition to counseling, VA provides other services designed to help Veterans stop smoking, including prescription medications, nicotine-replacement products like gum and patches and resources such as Quit VET and SmokefreeVET.
For more information about smoking/tobacco cessation, contact Melanie Williams, RN, Tobacco Cessation Lead Clinician at (315) 425-4400 ext. 52721 firstname.lastname@example.org or Occupational Health, Amy Roe, PA, Employee Occupational Health, ext.52075 and www.mentalhealth.va.gov/quit-tobacco .