Veterans’ Day is this Wednesday, Nov. 11. It’s a day to give thanks for the soldiers who put their lives on the line to protect the freedom that most of us take for granted. Time and again, these brave men and women have sacrificed so much for our safety, and now we can help them beat an opponent that’s taken the lives of too many veterans: tobacco addiction.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that veterans are more likely to use tobacco than the general population, especially when they suffer from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, and another report finds that veterans are also less likely to have smoke-free rules in their homes.
Our troops fight for our freedom every single day and I can’t even begin to thank them for protecting my life and our country. That being said, I feel that they should have more opportunities to protect their own lives against tobacco use. According to a 2011 survey published by the DoD, close to half of all military service members (49.2%) used a nicotine product in the past 12 months.
Thankfully, there are resources to help veterans break their tobacco addiction. They can find quitting assistance at www.ucanquit2.org or call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line for free at 1-800-QUIT NOW. I encourage all veterans who use tobacco to take advantage of these free resources. You’ve helped so many through your service, now it’s time to help yourself.