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DoD Urges Troops to Kick Smoking Habit

Image: Wayne Ruston

The Defense Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Health Advisory Council is urging U.S. service members to start making their New Year’s resolutions now, and that includes quitting smoking and other tobacco use.

“Tobacco use impairs military readiness and results in serious health problems, so New Year’s is a great time to commit to stopping tobacco use,” said U.S. Public Health Service Cmdr. Aileen Buckler, who also chairs the advisory committee.

“But making a resolution to quit tobacco is just the beginning,” she added. The key is developing a strategic plan, Buckler said, to “overcome obstacles and stay on course” in quitting.

And, she stressed, DoD is there to help service members looking to kick the smoking habit.

Tricare, DoD’s managed healthcare system, offers several resources to help troops stop lighting up, including the website www.ucanquit2.org, which features interactive “quit tools,” questionnaires, games and advice.

The online support system allows service members to create customizable “quit plans,” complete with calendars for progress-tracking and advice on beating cravings and overcoming weight gain.

Links to live 24-7 chats with counselors are also provided to help answer troops’ burning questions about quitting smoking.

“We are committed to helping all members and former members of our armed services and anyone close to them start the journey to a healthier lifestyle in the coming new year,” Buckler said.

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