Most people who smoke regularly would admit to feeling winded while doing something they used to do with ease, such as climbing stairs. And most would likely say they have cut short an activity they enjoy or time with people they care about because they had to step away to smoke. Imagine never having to stop playing with your children to go smoke or losing the momentum of your exercise routine by stopping to catch your breath. When you don’t smoke, you can spend more time with your children and likely feel a boost in your physical endurance.
Join the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 18. By considering the improvements to your well-being and your quality of life, you may find motivation to continue moving toward a brighter future that doesn’t include smoking.
Don’t quit trying. Try quitting — as many times as it takes.
It isn’t easy to quit smoking, and most people make several attempts before they’re able to stop for good. But that’s not a bad thing. Every attempt brings freedom from tobacco use closer because you learn what works and doesn’t work for you. So, whether you have tried once, twice or 15 times, take the lessons you’ve learned and try quitting again with new tools and a new approach.
When you’re ready, the VA’s tobacco cessation programs can help — anywhere, anytime.
When you’re ready to try life without smoking — even if you’ve tried to quit before — reach out to your health care provider to learn about the treatment options that can help you reach your goals. They may recommend a combination of treatments to increase your chance of quitting for good, such as counseling along with FDA-approved prescription medications or nicotine-replacement gum, patches and lozenges that can help you ease away from smoking.
Veterans can utilize tobacco cessation options that are available through all VA medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics. No matter how many times it takes, VA will be with you every step of the way, with more proven resources than ever before to help veterans quit smoking. Veterans may call, text, have an in-person appointment or have a telehealth visit with a provider for smoking cessation counseling, and use these additional VA support services:
* Quit VET: Veterans can call 1-855-QUIT-VET (1-855-784-8838) to receive tobacco cessation counseling and get help building their plan to quit smoking. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 17273 S.R 104, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601-9718. Quitline counselors are available Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern time, to help you prepare for potential challenges and avoid relapse, and to offer continued support through follow-up calls and counseling.
* SmokefreeVET: For tools and tips you can use to quit smoking, sign up for SmokefreeVET by texting VET to 47848. SmokefreeVET provides regular text messages as well as extra support for veterans who text the keywords URGE, STRESS or SMOKED to 47848.
Take a moment to imagine your life without smoking. Then talk with your provider about which treatment options might best meet your needs and improve your life, health and future.
Veterans not enrolled in the VA health care system are encouraged to visit www.chillicothe.va.gov/enrollment.asp to register or call 740-772-7170 with questions.
Visit the Chillicothe VA webpage (www.va.gov/chillicothe) and follow us on facebook (facebook.com/ChillicotheVAMC) and twitter (@chillicothevamc).
Submitted by Stacia Ruby, public affairs officer, Chillicothe VA Medical Center.