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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Nov. 13, 2023

During this year's Great American Smokeout, take your first step to quit smoking once and for all

By Tim Merrell, Health Promotion Program manager

The Coast Guard champions the Great American Smokeout (GASO) efforts on Nov. 16 as an opportunity to highlight the resources available to help you quit once and for all. 

If you’re in the roughly 15% of Coast Guard members who routinely smoke or vape, chances are that you have considered quitting. Chances are you know the stat that more than 480,000 Americans die each year from diseases caused by smoking. Chances are you’ve tried quitting before. This time, let us help. 

The Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to make a plan to stop smoking for one day in the hope of quitting tobacco products for life.  

Do you need help to quit? Check out a list of resources at CG-111 Tobacco Cessation.   

Be sure to take a look at the YouCanQuit2 site. This Department of Defense educational campaign offers great resources and tools for you  quit nicotine addiction or to help you avoid the temptation to go back to tobacco once you have quit.  

Also, tune into the weekly Wellness Wednesday on Nov. 15 to chat with Wendy LaRoche, the DoD Substance Use Education Campaign Outreach Lead.  LaRoche will discuss how to use YouCanQuit2’s interactive quit plan, the savings calculator and support locator.  

Overcoming nicotine addiction is not easy, but anyone who has witnessed tobacco-related illnesses knows that it is worth quitting. What’s even better is that we will be there for you every step along the way. 

For questions concerning Coast Guard tobacco policies, contact Tim Merrell, the Health Promotion Program Manager at (202) 475-5146 or