ROCKY HILL — They didn't surrender their weapons at war, but now some Connecticut veterans are being asked to surrender their cigarettes in peacetime.

Veterans living in the health care center at the state Veterans' Home will soon have to turn in their cigarettes to workers, who will give them back during specific times of the day.

Residents and administrators have been battling over a long-anticipated ban on smoking at Department of Veterans' Affairs properties, including the center, which provides long-term care to veterans with medical conditions. The ban was announced in a letter to VA staff and veterans in 2012. It was to take effect Sunday but has been scaled back.

Under an agreement reached Tuesday, veterans say they will be able to smoke one half hour out of every three hours, starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m., in an outdoor gazebo. They say they will have to surrender their cigarettes to workers in between smokes.