May 31 observance to shine light on VA tools to help Veterans quit year-round
WASHINGTON — In recognition of “World No Tobacco Day” on May 31, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will reaffirm its “Better Starts Today” campaign, calling on Veterans who use tobacco to discover reasons to quit and take advantage of innovative VA resources to help them succeed.
Led annually by the World Health Organization, VA’s observance of World No Tobacco Day aims to encourage Veterans using tobacco products to quit and join countless others across the globe in starting a tobacco-free life.
“Quitting tobacco products is one of the best things Veterans can do to improve their emotional and physical health, and overall quality of life,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA also understands the challenges that come with quitting. That’s why we are using World No Tobacco Day as a platform to talk about the innovative tools that will guide Veterans toward a tobacco-free, healthy life.”
Veterans don’t have to do it alone. VA national resources include:
- Quit VET, a toll-free national quitline at 855-QUIT-VET (855-784-8838) for Veterans to speak with a tobacco cessation counselor, make a quit plan and receive ongoing counseling after their quit date. Quitline counselors are available between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday.
- SmokefreeVET, a text-message program (text VET to 47848) offering Veterans three to five texts a day with advice and encouragement to help them while they stop using tobacco. Veterans can also text the keywords URGE, STRESS, SMOKED, and DIPPED anytime to receive an immediate tip for coping with an urge to use, a slip or stress.
For more information and resources about tobacco cessation and how Veterans’ families and
friends can help, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov/quit-tobacco.