Great American Spit Out - Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
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Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System


Great American Spit Out

A Veteran

Quitting isn’t easy, but VA can help.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

There are very serious health risks associated with chewing tobacco.

There’s cancer of the mouth, and cancer of the esophagus. There’s an increased risk of heart disease, and an increased risk of having a stroke. There’s tooth decay, and receding gums.

But smokeless tobacco can also pose very serious questions for your everyday life.

Does using dip keep you from enjoying or even attending important family events? Does it take up your time and occupy your thoughts? Is it a habit you don’t want your children to pick up?

Smokeless tobacco contains 30 cancer-causing chemicals — including arsenic, lead, formaldehyde, and the particularly harmful tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNs). The levels of those TSNs can be up to 100 times higher in smokeless tobacco than in cigarettes.

VA is working to shine a light on the effects of smokeless tobacco and provide a path forward for Veterans who are trying to quit. If you are one of those Veterans, the Great American Spit Out on Feb. 22 is a perfect day to start.

This annual event encourages smokeless tobacco users to set a quit date. To help them reach their goal, VA offers a tobacco quitline (1-855-QUIT-VET) and the SmokefreeVET text messaging program (text VET to 47848).

The quitline connects Veterans with a tobacco cessation counselor who will equip them with the appropriate resources to quit. The SmokefreeVET text messaging program delivers three to five messages a day to help Veterans clear hurdles and encourage them to stay on track. Here’s a sample pointer: “Cravings are tough, but you can do this. Avoid big triggers for now & focus on beating smaller ones. Practice makes perfect.”

This February, Veterans can chart a course to a healthier life. VA stands ready to help.


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