National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Be Tobacco Free
Be tobacco free! Don't use tobacco in any form. If you are using tobacco, VA can help you quit. Avoid secondhand smoke. If you are pregnant, both you and your baby will benefit when you quit using tobacco.
Quitting tobacco use is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health and protect your family’s health. If you quit smoking or other forms of tobacco, you and your family will experience short and long-term health benefits. It’s never too late to quit—your health will improve at any age after quitting tobacco!
All forms of tobacco use— including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, snuff, snus, chewing tobacco and more—are harmful. Tobacco use harms nearly every organ of the body and causes:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung/breathing problems
- Complications in those who are pregnant
Secondhand smoke is the smoke released from a burning cigarette, cigar, or pipe, as well as the smoke exhaled by the person smoking. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke. Smoking can harm a person’s health by increasing the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and other health problems by 20-30%. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. One in five deaths are caused by cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke.
Good things happen as soon as you quit. You’ll breathe easier, save money, smell better, sleep better, and have more energy. If you’re pregnant, your baby will be healthier. You’ll also be protecting your health and protecting your family and friends from secondhand smoke.
Some Veterans wonder if smoking alternatives, such as vaping or using e-cigarettes, are safer than using tobacco. These products and devices still have risks to your health and can cause harm to your body. We are still learning about the short- and long-term health effects of e-cigarettes on people of all ages.
Your VA health care team can provide proven, safe, and effective treatments for quitting tobacco. Behavioral counseling and the use of FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications work together to help you cut down on tobacco or quit for good. Whether it’s your first time trying to quit or if you’ve struggled before with quitting, your VA health care team is ready to provide helpful tips, tools, and encouragement.
- VHA tobacco cessation resources:
- VHA National Tobacco Cessation Quitline for Veterans: 1-855-QUIT VET (1-855-784-8838). Counseling is available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 9 pm ET.
- SmokefreeVET: Text the word ‘VET’ to 47848 from your mobile phone or visit smokefreevet to sign up for the SmokeFreeVET text messaging system.
- SmokefreeVET en español — Envíe un mensaje de texto con la palabra "VETESP" al 47848 desde su teléfono móvil o visite espanol smokefreevet para acceder al sistema de mensajes de texto SmokeFreeVET.
- Stay Quit Coach—a free mobile app to support quitting smoking and staying quit.
- Stress Management Support Resources
- Veterans Health Library