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Veterans becoming tobacco-free can use Quitline & other tailor-made tools

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Wed, Nov 11th 2020 09:10 am

Health care professionals, New York State Smokers' Quitline, 1-855-QUIT-VET, veterans.smokefree.gov among plethora of resources available for veterans

By the New York State Smokers' Quitline

Veterans understand to win in battle, they need a plan and the right tools. This Veterans Day, the New York State Smokers' Quitline wants veterans who use tobacco products to know many tailor-made resources are available to help them become tobacco-free and overcome nicotine dependence.

Most tobacco users try several times to quit, and each attempt can steer toward success through the use of additional tools. A health care professional is a critical first line of defense throughout the entire journey to become tobacco-free. In addition to offering support and medication, health care professionals can refer patients to the Quitline for free quit-coaching and free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as nicotine patches and nicotine gum or lozenges. The Quitline encourages all veterans who use tobacco products to call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) any day of the week beginning at 9 a.m. or visit nysmokefree.com to request a call and gain additional educational materials.

A health care professional and the Quitline are two vital tools for becoming tobacco-free; fortunately for veterans, even more tailored resources are available, including:

•1-855-QUIT-VET: In addition to the New York State Smokers' Quitline phone number at 1-866-NY-QUITS, the phone number 1-855-QUIT-VET is a similar service offered through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and is custom-focused on veterans' needs. Counselors are available 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays.

veterans.smokefree.gov / SmokefreeVET: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) hosts a website with resources for veteran smokers at https://veterans.smokefree.gov. One tool featured on the website is SmokefreeVET, a custom text-to-quit program offering multiple messages per day with tips, information and support during a span of six to eight weeks.

•YouCanQuit2: The Department of Defense offers YouCanQuit2 online at https://www.ycq2.org for service members and their loved ones. One unique and powerful feature available through the program is its "24/7 Quit Tobacco Live Chat."

•CDC OSH and the “Tips” campaign: The Center for Disease Control's Office of Smoking and Health (CDC OSH) offers a comprehensive website with tobacco-free resources sorted by specific military branches. In addition, six people highlighted in the acclaimed and ongoing “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign served in the military and share personal stories that may resonate highly with veterans.

•Locally in New York, the Quitline welcomes veterans to call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) to connect with a Quit Coach. Nearly all Quitline participants are eligible to receive NRT, coaching and self-help materials. The Quitline's Quit Coaches work with all types of traditional tobacco and vape-product users by developing personalized quit-plans to navigate the behavioral and psychological aspects of nicotine dependence.

The Quitline salutes all who have so selflessly served our nation and wishes all veterans happy and healthy lives. We stand ready to support you on your journey to become and stay tobacco-free.

The New York State Smokers' Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is one of the first and busiest state phonelines in the nation, and has responded to nearly 3 million calls since it began operating in 2000. The Quitline encourages nicotine users to talk with their health care professionals and access available Medicaid or health insurance benefits for stop-smoking medications. All New York state residents can call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for coaching and resources, free of charge, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. Visit www.nysmokefree.com for more information.

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