"What's the best way I can quit? Cold turkey? Use the patch?" It's good to think about these questions because quitting isn't easy. The odds are in your favor—more than half of all adults who ever smoked have quit.
Plan to succeed
Research shows that a person has the best chance of quitting tobacco for good when they:
- Use smoking cessation medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Take part in tobacco cessation counseling
Successful quitting also involves support from the people who love and care about you. Family and friends can be a great source of encouragement so let them know what they can do to help you.
Make a quit plan. VA's smoking quitline counselors can help. Call them at
1-855-QUIT-VET (1-855-784-8838) .
Reap the rewards of quitting
Quitting tobacco has many positive benefits like lowering your blood pressure and improving your lung function. Quitting also reduces your risk of cancer and heart disease. Learn more about tobacco's negative health effects, including issues specific to women.
Any of these reasons for quitting sound familiar?
- I want to feel good and have more energy.
- My kids need me. I want to live to raise them and be a role model for them.
- I'd have more money if I wasn't buying cigarettes.
- I want to improve my mental health.
- My child won't be exposed to secondhand smoke and will be healthier.
- I'm in recovery for alcohol abuse and whenever I smoke, it makes me want to drink.
- I want to better manage my HIV.
Visit Smokefree.gov to learn more about the benefits of quitting tobacco.
Visit BeTobaccoFree.gov to learn how quitting improves your short and long-term health.
Get help from VA
As you take this huge step in improving your health and life, VA is there for you.
Veterans enrolled in VA health care have access to:
- Medication and counseling
- 1-855-QUIT VET (1-855-784-8838), VA's smoking quitline
- Text message support from SmokefreeVET
Talk to your VA health care provider to customize a quit strategy.
Not enrolled in VA health care? Find out if you're eligible.
Don't give up
Quitting takes practice. Even the most motivated person may try to quit five or six times before they quit for good. Knowing why you want to quit is part of a successful quit strategy.
Quitting smoking is a big deal. Share the news with friends by downloading and using a Smokefree VET badge in your social media posts and profiles.
Watch this tip from Brian, a former smoker and Air Force Veteran, on how to quit for good.
Watch more Tips From Former Smokers, a campaign by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).