works.2 It might be helpful to include links to such programs on the VA My HealtheVet Web site.
No formally organized group in or outside VA is actively promoting tobacco-use cessation programs on behalf of veterans. At the VA Provider Feedback Forum on Smoking and Tobacco Use Cessation (VA, 2007a), participants thought that VA should explore ways to promote tobacco cessation for veterans at VA medical facilities, including use of the My HealtheVet Web site. Suggestions for increasing participation in the programs included motivational videos in waiting rooms, audio messages for people holding on the telephone, and informational kiosks with computers that could show patients how the cessation programs work. Participants at the forum also noted that many cessation resources, including online resources, are available at little or no cost from the CDC Office on Smoking and Health. Participants agreed that state and local health departments were important partners for referrals for quitlines and other support. In states with active tobacco-control programs for the general population, VA may be able to leverage its resources by connecting veterans with free cessation services in their communities.
VA engages veteran service organizations (VSOs) at many levels, but it is not apparent whether VSOs have been included in discussion about tobacco use by their members. The PHSHCG and individual VAMCs may want to assess whether VSO members are interested in receiving tobacco-cessation services at their local VA health-care facilities and to broadcast information about the availability of such services to the VSO members.
Finding: VHA has many options for increasing the effective use of tobacco-cessation programs among its patients, but it has not been aggressive or uniform in developing and delivering antitobacco messages to its patients via newsletters, mailings, Web sites, or other media outlets, or providing information on how to access tobacco-cessation treatments.
Accessible at http://www.shreveport.va.gov/PatientEducation/QuitSmart_Main.asp. Accessed on April 9, 2009.