DOD Urges Troops to Quit Tobacco in 2011
From a Tricare News Release
FALLS CHURCH, Va., Dec. 27, 2010 Each year, more than a million people successfully quit tobacco, and the Defense Department wants more military members included in that number in 2011.
“In the tradition of New Year’s, we are asking our active duty and retired servicemembers and their families to make a resolution to quit tobacco,” said U.S. Public Health Service Cmdr. (Dr.) Aileen Buckler, chair of the DOD Alcohol and Tobacco Advisory Committee. “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.”
With studies showing people are 10 times more likely to succeed in behavior change when acting on a resolution, New Year’s appears to be the perfect opportunity to start the process of quitting tobacco.
“But making a resolution to quit tobacco is just the beginning. Developing a strategic plan to overcome obstacles and stay on course is the ultimate key to successful quitting,” Buckler said. “DOD has developed a comprehensive set of tools and a support system to help individuals prepare to follow through on their New Year’s resolution.”
Buckler is referring to several Tricare resources, including “Quit Tobacco -- Make Everyone Proud,” DOD’s tobacco cessation campaign. Tricare is DOD’s managed health care system. The campaign’s website, www.ucanquit2.org, features Train2Quit, an online support system that uses interactive quit tools, self-assessment questionnaires, quizzes and other activities. The support system shows servicemembers how to create a customizable quit plan with a calendar to track progress and learn how to beat cravings, overcome weight gain and cope with the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
The site also offers live help with links to personal quit coaches, available seven days a week, 24 hours a day to get answers to questions about quitting tobacco and how to stay tobacco-free.
The website also features a New Year’s resolutions page, where individuals can post their resolution to quit tobacco. Individuals can send e-cards of their resolution to quit tobacco, and family and friends also can send e-cards of encouragement to those trying to quit. Free New Year’s smoking cessation materials are available for health professionals and other installation leaders to order or download to help promote events. The site also features an “I made a resolution to quit tobacco in 2011” badge that can be downloaded to a Facebook page.
Users of the DOD website can sign up to receive quit tips via text messages or personal widget downloads. The DOD site also has a savings calculator, fun games like Texas hold ‘em and blogs for peer support, as well as social-networking links to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The site provides medication information, news articles, podcasts, RSS feeds, special monthly features and much more.
All non-Medicare eligible beneficiaries can receive assistance with smoking cessation through Tricare’s toll-free smoking help line. Toll-free telephone lines are available in each Tricare region offering around-the-clock support.
“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.