South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)
New Quitline offers Individualized Counseling and Follow-up Calls to Help You Quit and Stay Quit
Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health. You have the power to quit smoking and to stay smoke free. Quitting is never easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has many resources available that can help.
VA’s newest resource is a telephone quitline just for Veterans. Veterans who receive health care through VA can call 1–855–QUIT VET (1–855–784–8838) to speak with a highly skilled counselor who can offer individualized counseling about quitting smoking and help develop a personalized quit plan.
Counselors may ask you specific questions about your tobacco use, quitting history, and motivations to quit. Any information provided during the call will be kept private. The quitline is available Monday –Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern Time. Services are available in English and Spanish (consejería en Español es disponible).
Support does not end with the first call. To help you stay smoke free, counselors will offer to follow-up and call you back around your quit date and after you quit.
You have the best chance of quitting smoking if you use smoking cessation medications, like the nicotine patch and gum, while also getting counseling from your VA provider or quitline counselor. VA also has additional tools to help you quit and stay smoke free.
For extra support when quitting, try using SmokefreeVET, a mobile text messaging service that provides around-the-clock encouragement, advice, and tips to help you quit. You can opt-in to the program by texting the word VET from your phone to 47848 up to two weeks before your quit date. You will receive text messages of support and encouragement for six weeks after your quit date. Veterans without a text messaging plan can just text a keyword, URGE, STRESS, or SMOKED, to 47848 and receive a single message in response.
Talk to your VA health care provider before your quit date about using smoking cessation medications and other resources such as specialty programs that may be available to you. For more information on VA’s smoking cessation services, visit http://www.publichealth.va.gov/smoking/.