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Tobacco Cessation Counseling

A group of people sitting at a counseling session

Reasons to get counseling

Tobacco cessation counseling is when you talk with a health care provider or a counselor about your tobacco use and work on ways to get tobacco out of your life. This type of counseling helps you break your tobacco habit.

When you use counseling to help you tackle the habit and take smoking cessation medications for withdrawal symptoms, you have the best chance at staying quit.

An important part of counseling is figuring out what triggers your tobacco use. Some of these triggers probably sound familiar:

  • Talking on the phone
  • Drinking a cup of coffee
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Feeling bored
  • Needing a break
  • Facing stress
  • Insomnia

Counseling will help you to figure out how you can avoid or cope with your triggers so you don't relapse (start using tobacco again) after you quit. For example, if you smoke with your morning coffee, your counselor may suggest you have your coffee in a smoke-free environment (such as a restaurant or work kitchen) or switch to tea instead.

How to get VA counseling

Contact your regular VA health care provider and let them know you are quitting tobacco. They can give you counseling as well as provide you with smoking cessation medication. Your provider can also refer you to local smoking cessation clinics and group counseling sessions.

Call 1-855-QUIT-VET, VA's smoking quitline for Veterans. Quit VET provides telephone counseling, in English or Spanish, by trained professionals. See your VA health care provider first to get smoking cessation medications.

Not enrolled in VA health care? Find out if you're eligible.

Stories from Veterans

Watch The American Veteran show about Veterans' experiences in a smoking cessation clinic at the VA medical center in Walla Walla, WA.