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Help Veterans Quit Tobacco

An older couple riding bicycles outside

Helping Veterans quit tobacco saves lives.

A Veteran is more likely to succeed in quitting if they have support from those around them. Help add years to their life by supporting their efforts.

What you can do

  • Ask them what you can do to help. Every person who uses tobacco is different!
  • If you also use tobacco, consider quitting at the same time.
  • Let them know that even successful quitters have doubts. Cigarettes can be a constant companion for Veterans who smoke and it can be difficult to imagine a life without them. Remind them of the positive changes that will occur in their life after they quit.
  • Be ready to help, especially during the first few days after he or she quits. They may need distractions or extra help with a tough situation. For instance, they may need support when going to a party or hanging out with other people who use tobacco.
  • Let them know they can take their time. Sometimes it takes a few tries for a person to quit and stay quit. Each quit attempt is a learning experience, making it more likely they will successfully quit.
  • Be positive. Keep your statements positive and focused on their quit effort. Adding pressure or guilt only creates stress for the Veteran, which they may want to relieve by using tobacco.

Encourage their success

Share reasons to quit tobacco and the most effective ways to do it.

Encourage them to show off their success by downloading and using a Smokefree VET badge in social media posts and profiles.

Send e-cards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to encourage them to live tobacco free.

Relapsing does not mean failure

The Veteran in your life is learning how to quit and each attempt is a step forward. If he or she relapses, help them figure out what caused it. Be encouraging and let them know you are proud of them for trying, and you will support them in another quit attempt.