Break Free from Smoking
Video Length: 03:25
Don’t give up on quitting! No matter how long you’ve smoked or how many times you’ve tried to quit, you can be smoke-free.
VA can help you succeed. Talk to your VA health care provider about how to quit smoking, including getting medication to improve your chances of quitting and a referral to a VA smoking cessation clinic.
To find the nearest VA health care facility:
- Go to VA Facility Locator
- Call toll-free 1-877-222-8387
Learn more about why to quit smoking and how to quit.
Smoking and Tobacco Use Facts
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of premature death and a leading cause of illness and mortality.
Smoking and tobacco use cessation persists as one of the VA’s biggest public health challenges. Many Veterans began using tobacco while in the military. The rate of smoking among Veterans in the VA health care system is higher than among the U.S. population.
Approximately 70 percent of all smokers say they want to quit, but even the most motivated may try to quit five or six times before they are able to quit. Over 3 million Americans successfully quit smoking every year.
To help Veterans quit smoking and tobacco use, VA offers:
- Screening for tobacco use during primary care visits
- Individual counseling
- Prescriptions for nicotine replacement therapy, such as a nicotine patch or gum, or other medications
- Participation in evidence-based smoking cessation programs
Veterans may contact the nearest VA health care facility to schedule an appointment.
- Help is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week at the Quit Tobacco, Make Everyone Proud website. The Department of Defense/TRICARE partnered with VA to give Veterans access to their tobacco cessation website including online tools, personalized quit plans and live chat services. Veterans should click on the "VA Veterans" link to access these resources. Posters and a wallet card also are available as reminders for this online resource.
- How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease (2010): The 30th Surgeon General report on smoking and health describes ways tobacco smoke damages the body and causes disease through smoking and exposures to secondhand smoke.
- VA's Three-Part Tobacco Use Cessation - Treatment Guidance: For healthcare professionals, two easy-to-use charts and a table detailing VA medication options
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Takes Enforcement Action Against E-Cigarette Companies: FDA has taken enforcement action against five electronic cigarette companies for violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, including unsubstantiated claims and poor manufacturing practices. Read FDA's updated information for consumers on e-cigarettes and learn more about the potential health risks of e-cigarettes (424 KB, PDF). VA also issued an Information Letter (IL 10-2011-008) (37 KB, PDF) providing information on e-cigarettes including guidance from the FDA and the World Health Organization.
- Varenicline and Bupropion Medication Safety News from FDA and VA's Clinical Guidance/Criteria for Use (Varenicline): Safety warnings and prescribing guidance for health professionals about varenicline and bupropion, prescription medications used to help patients stop smoking. (Note: On the VA's Clinical Guidance page, look for "Varenicline, Criteria for Prescribing" located near the bottom of the page.)
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For help quitting smoking:
- » Visit the nearest VA health care facility
- » Call 1-877-222-8387