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AF surgeon general releases smoking cessation video

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. (Dr.) James Roudebush recently released a video encouraging Airmen to quit smoking. It can be found here.

"If you've chosen to use tobacco, be aware there are consequences to you, your health, now and in the future," General Roudebush said. "And frankly there's an effect on the mission as well." 

Smoking is detrimental to mission accomplishment. In fact, it decreases lung capacity, stamina, wound healing, motor coordination, night vision, mental acuity and the ability to deal with stress. It also increases the need for water and increases the risk of injury. 

Not only does smoking adversely affect the Air Force's mission, but it also affects the overall health of the smoker. It increases the risk of developing heart disease, including increased blood pressure, vascular disease, stroke and heart attack. Smoking can also cause chronic bronchitis and emphysema. 

"Smoking kills almost 440,000 Americans each year," said Michele Finely, 30th Medical Operations Squadron health education program manager. "That's more than the combined number of Americans killed each year by alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS." 

In order to help Team V fight tobacco addiction, the Health and Wellness Center offers a tobacco cessation program. The program is open to active duty, Guard, Reserves, dependents, military retirees and civilian Department of Defense employees. People can choose to either attend four group sessions or one initial group session with brief individual follow-ups. For the disabled, there are phone counseling sessions available. 

Those members who need extra help can also get medication. However, only TRICARE/Triwest insurance holders can get referred to the 30th Medical Group for medication. People who do not carry that insurance should check with their medical insurance carrier to see if they're covered for cessation medication. 

For more information on tobacco cessation classes, call 606-2221.