Smoking Cessation Program - VA San Diego Healthcare System
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VA San Diego Healthcare System


Smoking Cessation Program

Smoke-Free VA. As part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) commitment to provide excellent health care for Veterans, a new policy has been implemented restricting smoking by patients, visitors, volunteers, contractors, vendors, and staff at its health care facilities effective October 1, 2019, as per VHA Directive 1085

VA San Diego Healthcare System has extensive resources and programs that can assist Veterans in their smoke-free journey, which includes groups, individual counseling, medications, and more.

The Tobacco or Smoking Cessation Program helps Veterans who want to quit smoking for good.  Success at quitting tobacco depends on mastering nicotine addiction and changing tobacco use behaviors. Groups provide counseling and support to address both of these aspects of tobacco addiction. You are three times more likely to quit successfully if you receive both medicine and counseling.

Tobacco Cessation Groups

  • Meet weekly for 60 minutes.
  • You can start attending at any time.
  • You will receive counseling on behavior change, support and medications to help you stop using tobacco
  • These are drop-in groups: No referral or appointment is needed
  • There is no co-pay for attending tobacco cessation treatment
We are currently offering group participation by Video and Telephone conference only.

NO APPOINTMENT IS REQUIRED. VETERANS CAN ATTEND ANY GROUP.  Please contact listed group leader prior to your first group and provide your name and last 4 of social security to facilitate privacy. You will receive a link to the video connection if you would like to join by video.


San Diego VA Medical Center
Every Tuesday, 12:00–1:00 p.m., La Jolla 2-North, Room 2436.
Check-in at Mental health clinic window (2-North)

VA Chula Vista Clinic
Every Thursday, 1:00–2:00 pm, Suite 133
Check in at primary care clinic desk

VA Mission Valley Clinic

Every Tuesday 1:00-2:00 p.m., 2nd floor, Room 2141
Check-in at Mental Health clinic window

VA Oceanside Clinic
Every Monday, 1:00–2:00 p.m., Oceanside, 2nd Floor, Conference Room A.
Check-in at Blue Primary Care clinic desk

For more information, please contact (858) 642-3436 or see our Tobacco Cessation Classes flyer.  For general information about the program, please call (858) 642-3903.

Pharmacy Telephone Tobacco Cessation Clinic

The Pharmacy Telephone Clinic provides telephone counseling and medications for quitting tobacco use.  To enroll call: (858) 642-3903 or (800) 331-8387.

In general, VA offers effective treatment programs to help you quit smoking, such as medications and counseling, as well as other useful tools and resources as listed below:  

  • Medications: Using FDA-approved medications, such as nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion, and varenicline, while you’re quitting can help you manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms and cope with the urge to smoke. Your VA provider can guide you through the available options to help you decide which is likely to work best for you.
  • Counseling: Combining smoking cessation medications with counseling offers you the best chance of quitting — and staying tobacco-free. VA offers tobacco cessation counseling, in person or over the phone, to talk about your tobacco use, ways to get tobacco out of your life, coping with triggers, and changing your lifestyle to remain tobacco-free. To learn more, contact your VA health care provider.
  • Quit VET: Did you know? Tobacco quitlines can double your chances of quitting, compared with getting no support at all. Using your home telephone, national counselors will set up a quit plan with you and provide a limited number of follow-up calls, but you can call in any time during the hours of service (8AM-10PM ET).
    • To self-enroll dial 1-855-QUIT-VET (1-855-784-8838) between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. ET, Monday – Friday
  • SmokefreeVET: Need a little encouragement while you’re quitting tobacco or smokeless tobacco? The free SmokefreeVET text message program will provide you with daily advice and support. Using your cell phone, receive 24/7 encouragement and tips to help quit tobacco. You can also get a tip back from the system by texting URGE, STRESS or SMOKED. You do not need to sign up to text in a word and receive back support. For additional messages, sign up by texting VET to 47848 or visit the smokefreeVET website.
  • Stay Quit Coach App:  The Stay Quit Coach app for your mobile device is designed to help you stay quit after you stop smoking, but can also be used when you are in treatment to quit smoking. The app has tools to help with cravings and triggers, reminder messages, the ability to track health benefits and money saved, and links to more support. Free Stay Quit Coach download for iphone or android.

Contact Info


  • San Diego VAMC

Contact Number(s)

  • 858-642-3903

Hours of Operation

  • Monday- Friday
    7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.