VA Southeast Network (VISN7)
VISN 7 encourages Veterans to leave smoking behind
November 19, 2020
DULUTH, GA — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is encouraging Veterans to take the first step, Nov. 19, to stop smoking as part of the annual Great American Smokeout to improve their physical and mental health by combining cessation counseling with other VA clinical resources and support.
Research shows behavioral counseling can significantly improve one’s chances of quitting and combining counseling and medication works better than medication or counseling alone.
“I encourage all Veterans to reach out to their local medical center’s smoking cessation representatives and pursue a life free from smoking,” said Joe Battle, VISN 7 interim network director. “The Southeast Network is here to support our Veterans in all aspects of their care as they pursue a healthy lifestyle.”
VA’s smoking counseling programs are one of the most effective tools available for Veterans who want to permanently stop smoking. VA health care providers can help Veterans explore the role tobacco plays in their daily routine, including the activities or situations that trigger someone to use tobacco products. These triggers can include talking on the phone, drinking coffee or alcohol or feeling bored or stressed. VA providers work with Veterans to develop strategies for coping with those triggers and to tailor plans for quitting that will fit into each Veteran’s everyday life.
In addition to counseling, VA provides other services designed to help Veterans stop smoking, including prescription medications, nicotine-replacement products like gum and patches and resources such as Quit VET and SmokefreeVET.
For more information about tobacco cessation, visit your local medical center’s website and www.mentalhealth.va.gov/quit-tobacco. A list of all VISN 7 medical centers can be found at www.southeast.va.gov.