Veteran Commercial Tobacco Cessation

Contact

Paul Caseley, Program Manager

Paul.caseley@dva.wa.gov

(564) 200-2149 | Work Cell

How to Start

  • Set a quit date
  • Tell your family and friends
  • Anticipate and plan for challenges
  • Remove cigarettes from your home and car
  • Talk to your doctor — ask about medications and counseling supports

Tobacco Cessation Program Goals

  • Understand the needs of Veterans around tobacco cessation and promote cessation efforts.
  • Develop strategies and activities which seek to improve health equity and address community disparities.
  • Establish programs that address commercial tobacco use and nicotine addiction for Veterans with disabilities.
  • Collaborate with local, statewide, and national organizations that work with Veterans to enhance programs and efforts already in place, develop education protocols, deliver training to service providers, and provide resources for veterans and their families around tobacco cessation.

Established in partnership with Washington Department of Health, WDVA's Veteran Commercial Tobacco Cessation Program (VCTC) exists to connect Washington’s veterans and military families to resources that help decrease tobacco dependence, increase cessation efforts, and provide support for staying stopped.  Available resources include counseling, medications, help with identifying strategies to tackle cravings and slips, and follow up counseling calls. (See Resources for Quitting below)

    Individuals with military or veteran status are known to have higher tobacco-use rates than the general population and more than a third of all active-duty smokers in the military start smoking after they enlist. Military members and their families have unique challenges and barriers to successfully quit tobacco-use, such as frequent moves, deployment, and behavioral health issues linked to active military duty, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The VCTC program acknowledges that these challenges and barriers often remain for individuals long after their transition from the military to civilian life.

    Resources for Quitting

    Veterans have many options to receive tobacco cessation treatment without leaving home:

    • Call or send a secure message to your VA health care provider through the MyHealtheVet web portal to find out if they are among the many who offer one-on-one or group sessions by phone or video.

    • Talk to your doctor about using the nicotine patch, gum, lozenges, or other medications to help you quit. They can prescribe medication and have it mailed to your home.

    • Call Quit VET (1-855-QUIT-VET, 1-855-784-8838) to speak to a tobacco cessation counselor between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday in English or Spanish. Quit VET connects Veterans to a trained counselor who can help develop a quit plan and provide ongoing counseling and support to prevent relapse.

    • Sign up for SmokefreeVET to receive texts with encouragement and support by texting VET to 47848. (For Spanish text VETESP to 47848). The benefits of signing up include regular text messages and tips when you text the keywords URGE, STRESS, or SMOKED.