A Message from the Navy Surgeon General: Tobacco Cessation

VADM Faison - photo - as of 31 DEC 2015Shipmates,

As your surgeon general, my number one priority is keeping you – our Sailors and Marines – and your families healthy, ready and on the job.  You are part of the most highly-trained, highly-specialized, and highly-educated force in our nation’s history. More so than ever before, it’s paramount to maintain our health and readiness, today and tomorrow.

That is why I want to talk to you about the harmful effects of tobacco use.

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally.  Tobacco users are more likely to develop heart disease, stroke and lung cancer throughout their lifetime.

Not only does prolonged tobacco use affect your health, it affects your ability to execute the Navy’s mission. It can affect your night vision, increase stress, impair your ability to heal, and can increase your risk for infections.

Tobacco use also puts those around you at risk. Secondhand tobacco smoke causes more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory and ear infections and SIDS. It can also create a financial hardship on you and your family.

I understand it isn’t easy to quit. Quitting for many is challenging and potentially too difficult to accomplish alone.

That’s why all of our military treatment facilities have tobacco cessation services such as counseling, medication and self-help tools. We provide tobacco cessation medications on ships and at Marine Corps battalions to ensure Sailors and Marines can receive treatment around the globe. Our tobacco-free living website provides a variety of tools and resources, such as our tobacco cessation starter kit, which gives tobacco users the necessary information to start their journey to a tobacco-free life.

The bottom line is if you want to quit tobacco, Navy Medicine has the tools and resources to help you start today. Today is a great day to quit and your Navy Medicine team is ready to help!  Start today on your journey to better health!

Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy surgeon general