Military Service Members and Veterans

Know the Facts

If you are a military veteran, you’re more likely to smoke cigarettes than civilians. Smoking is even more common among those who have been deployed overseas. Smoking increases your risk for lung cancer, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and many other diseases.

  • More than 1 in 5 (21.6%) veterans in the United States reported being current cigarette smokers.*

The high prevalence of tobacco use among military and veteran personnel has a significant financial impact. During 2010, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) spent an estimated $2.7 billion on smoking-related ambulatory care, prescription drugs, hospitalizations, and home health care.*

For More Information

Learn what percent of people currently smoke cigarettes, both in the United States overall and among specific populations.

 Real Stories: Military Service Members in Tips®

Learn the real stories of military service members and veterans who suffer from smoking-related diseases and disabilities.

Quitting Help

To get started right now, see our How to Quit Smoking area featuring a Quit Guide website and an additional Quitting Resources page.

Get free help to quit smoking by calling a quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Quitline coaches can answer questions, help you develop a quit plan, and provide support.

Resources for Active Duty or Retired Service Members

If you are active duty or a retired service member, you and your family can access cessation counseling, cessation medicines, quitlines, and other services through your TRICARE coverage and Department of Defense programs.

Navy servicewoman with her family.
  • Visit YouCanQuit2external icon a Department of Defense program to help people in the US military quit tobacco. The site includes a live chat feature and provides personalized online support from coaches to TRICARE-eligible beneficiaries and those who are assisting them in quitting tobacco use.
  • Join SmokeFreeMILexternal icon, a text message support program to help military service members quit tobacco use. You will receive encouragement 24/7 for up to 8 weeks, get advice and tips on how to quit and stay quit, or text a keyword about your mood to get appropriate advice. Text MIL to 47848 or visit the site for more information.
  • Understand the tobacco cessation servicesexternal icon that are available to you through TRICARE, including counseling and prescription and over-the-counter medications to support and help you quit tobacco use.
  • Find more information and resources about how to quit smoking on the Tobacco-Free Livingexternal icon page of the Operation Live Well website.

Service-Specific Resources and Programs:

Are you in the Air Force?

Are you in the Army?

Are you in the Navy?

Are you in the Marine Corps?

Are you in the US Coast Guard?

Thinking About Quitting? Tobacco Cessation Resources - screenshot of PDF

Visit icon to get resources to help motivate you and increase your confidence so you can quit tobacco for good.

Resources for Veterans Enrolled in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System

If you are a veteran enrolled in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, you have access to VA resources and services to help you quit smoking. Smoking cessation counseling is available at all VA medical centers, and FDA-approved smoking cessation medications are available through all VA pharmacy programs. Use the Veterans Health Administration Facility Locatorexternal icon to find a VA health care facility near you.

Older adult man at doctor’s office.