The guys in my infantry squad were always lighting up another cigarette. Before patrols, during patrols, after long missions and endless guard tower stints—it was an endless cycle that relieved stress and gave idle hands something to do.
But now many of those guys are trying to quit smoking, and for good reason. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you, but few realize how destructive it really is. Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke two to four times and kills nearly half a million people every year. It can also contribute to infertility, low birth weight and a variety of deadly cancers.
If you’re looking to quit, the health benefits are immediate. Your sense of smell and taste improve after just two days, and your risk of heart disease drops by half after a year.
Quitting isn’t about going cold turkey anymore. VA has established group sessions to help Veterans quit smoking, which has shown positive results compared to going at it alone. If you want to quit today, visit your local VA facility or call 1-877-222-8387.
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