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VA tools can help start a tobacco-free life and reduce cancer risk
People who use dip, chew, and snuff increase their risk for developing cancers of the lip, tongue, and mouth. VA has the tools to treat smokeless tobacco use and can help Veterans build a plan to quit for good. Quitting smokeless tobacco is not easy, but VA can help you quit. The best approach to quitting tobacco is to:
The Great American Spit Out was on February 20, 2020, and is the perfect time for Veterans to take steps toward quitting smokeless tobacco and starting a tobacco-free journey. If you've thought about quitting smokeless tobacco but haven't picked a date, or if you've tried before and are ready to make the change for good, now's the time.
It's important to remember that dip and chewing tobacco have more nicotine than cigarettes, which could lead to a stronger addiction. Compared with smoking tobacco, dipping or chewing tobacco causes a slower rise in the blood nicotine level, which remains higher for a longer period. Quitting smokeless tobacco is hard. But it helps if you have a plan. VA has some resources to help you quit.
Quit VET: Speak with a tobacco cessation counselor to make a quit plan and to receive ongoing support and counseling after your quit date by calling 1-855-QUIT-VET (1-855-784-8838). Quitline counselors are available between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Quitline counselors offer continued support through follow-up calls and counseling.
SmokefreeVET: Sign up for VA's text-messaging program to receive three to five text messages a day of support, advice, and encouragement when you are quitting tobacco. You can sign up for the program by texting the word VET to 47848 from your mobile phone or by visiting veterans.smokefree.gov. You can text the keywords URGE, STRESS, and DIPPED anytime to get an immediate tip for coping with an urge to use, stress, or a slip.
As you take this huge step to improve your health and life, VA is here to help. Sign in and use a Secure Message to contact your health care team.
Talk to your VA health care provider today about the options available to help you quit. VA recommends using a FDA-approved medication, like nicotine replacement therapy, together with behavioral counseling from your provider or a quitline counselor.
How you quit is up to you, and VA offers many kinds of support to choose from. Like most things in life, the journey of quitting smokeless tobacco products happens one day at a time. Know your reasons for quitting and remember to focus on everything you don't like about dipping and chewing. Make February 20 the day you begin.
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