Honor Veterans and Military Service… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Honor Veterans and Military Service Members by Helping them Quit Smoking

November 01, 2011


A great way to mark Veterans' Day is to help a veteran or someone currently serving in the military to quit using tobacco.

The smoking rate among members of the U.S. military — 30.6 percent in 2008 — is far higher than for the adult population as a whole. Despite slow but steady progress in reducing smoking among American adults, the rate of smoking among military personnel has remained unchanged since 1998, when it was 29.9 percent.

Besides undermining physical fitness, endurance and overall readiness among troops, tobacco use places a significant burden on the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration health care systems. The VA spent $5 billion in 2008 just to treat smoking-caused emphysema. In 2006, the military health care system spent $564 million on tobacco-related health care costs.

On November 10 — just before Veterans' Day — Legacy is sponsoring a discussion on smoking in the military and how to curtail tobacco use among military families.

Legacy and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids are among the public health groups who are partners in First Lady Michelle Obama's Joining Forces initiative to support military families. This effort to improve the health of active-duty personnel, their families and veterans includes a plan to promote tobacco prevention and cessation. The goal is to reach more than 800,000 people in military communities in an effort to reduce tobacco use and help keep the children of military families tobacco-free.

Those who have sacrificed for the United States shouldn't sacrifice their health to tobacco.

Register to view Legacy’s discussion.