Because of the stresses of military life and the well known culture of smoking in the military, servicemen and women have a much higher risk of being smokers. Just by serving their country.
Despite the strength and determination gained in service - When veterans transition to civilian life it can be much harder for them to quit than civilians. In fact 77% of quit attempts made by veterans will fail.
Raising awareness will help encourage more support for those who gave so much for our freedom. However there are already resources and ideas on this page that can help veterans to quit smoking.
It's no secret that being in the military can cause people to become smokers. There is a long history of tobacco use in the military, alongside a well known smoking culture.
Through years of service to their country, servicemen and women are exposed to a much higher risk of becoming addicted to smoking than civilians. Despite the courage, determination and willpower they develop throughout their service.
Boredom, peer pressure, stress - there are a thousand reasons. Something that can start as a way to try and offset psychological stresses of war can ultimately end in years of health issues and early deaths that our veterans simply do not deserve.
Whatever the reason, our servicemen and women are much more likely to be smokers just by serving their country.
Heavy smoking is common, and it can be much more ingrained as a habit than a civilian smoker.
For example the routine of smoking breaks can feel like second nature. Or PTSD and other psychological issues can increase the difficulty of quitting. In fact the CDC states that on average the failure rate for veterans trying to quit smoking is as high as 77%.
When transitioning from military service into a civilian role veterans often face one final battle.
The battle to quit smoking.
Thankfully the need to support our veterans while they quit smoking is on the radar of public health authorities around the world.
There are a variety of resources that have been created specifically for veterans. For example the veterans affairs office has a specific cessation hotline just for vets to seek assistance.
Other resources help vets deal with the cessation related issues that are specific to them. Focusing on things like quitting while battling PTSD, or unlearning the routine that is often a difficult craving trigger.
(We have listed some of the best of these resources in the useful links section at the bottom of this page.)
Our veterans are heroes who have given so much for us to continue living in the free world we know and love. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.
Because of the increased risk of smoking for servicemen and women, many veterans feel that their nicotine addictions are a direct result of their service to their country.
We whole heartedly agree with them. We support the vets who campaign for nicotine replacement therapy to provided by the V.A because of this connection between service and smoking.
By raising awareness of the additional long term harm vets place themselves in by serving their country, we can help this and many other initiatives come to fruition.