SHC’s Health Promotion and Wellness Department offers a number of workshops and awareness programs about tobacco. Many of the programs are interactive and excellent for groups. Call (205) 348-3878 for more information.
The University’s smoke-free policy can be found here.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Why do you want to quit today?
- How motivated are you to quit using tobacco today?
- Are there supportive people in your life to help you?
- What are your major concerns about this attempt to quit? (failure, withdrawal, increased stress, etc.)
Challenges When Trying to Quit
- Feeling sad or anxious
- Weight gain: quitting will likely increase your appetite and you may gain weight. It has been shown that people who do gain weight while quitting gain less than 10 pounds. If this is a concern, make sure you get plenty of exercise and try to eat a well-balanced diet.
- Depression and anxiety
Many people find it very difficult to quit using tobacco products. People commonly quit and then find themselves using the product again, especially in the first few weeks or months after quitting. People who use tobacco products after quitting should try to quit again. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip, just remind yourself of the reasons you are quitting, and try again. It may take four or more attempts before you are able to quit for good. Each time you try, you get closer to quitting for good by finding out what works for you and what doesn’t. People who stop smoking for three months or longer have an excellent chance of remaining tobacco free for the rest of their lives.
Tools, Tests and Exercises
It is helpful to complete all of the tests, tools and exercises found in this section of the website. That way you can get a better sense of your personal usage and develop your own strategies to help yourself quit.
Tools to Help You Quit
- Alabama Quit Now
- Tobacco Free U – Offers college students free on-line information, guides, and resources related to tobacco and quitting tobacco use.
- Become An EX – The EX plan teaches you how to re-learn life without cigarettes in 3 steps – all geared to help make the seemingly impossible possible.
- Freedom from Smoking Online Program – Online program from the American Lung Association consisting of seven modules, each containing four lessons, to assist you in quitting tobacco. Participants are also encouraged to participate in message boards to give and receive support as they go through the quit process.
- SmokeFree.gov Website – A site dedicated to help individuals quit smoking. Reasons to quit, how to prepare to quit, managing cravings, determining your “triggers,” information about various smoking cessation aids, a publication geared just for African American smokers and more are offered at this site.
Smokeless Tobacco Resources
- My Last Dip – MyLastDip is a free Web-based intervention that is designed to help young smokeless tobacco users quit.
- Kill The Can – This website offers free resources and tools to help dip, snuff, and chewing tobacco users quit. Along with useful information, it offers a support forum and a live quit chat room.
Help By Text Messages
There Is An App for That
NCI QuitPal is a free smartphone app to support smokers working to become smoke-free. This interactive app is developed using proven quit strategies and tools to help change behavior and assist you with giving up smoking.
Smokefree Teen QuitSTART is another free smartphone app to help track your cravings and moods, monitor your progress, identify your smoking triggers, and upload personalized “pick me ups” and reminders to use during challenging times to help you successfully become and stay smokefree.”
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Individuals who are thinking about quitting should look into Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Nicotine Replacement Therapy can help you with the uncomfortable physical symptoms of withdrawal while allowing you to concentrate on the habit itself. Individuals who use Nicotine Replacement Therapy in combination with support services are likely to be 70 percent more successful in a quit attempt. There are several NRT options:
- Nicotine Patch: Sold over the counter as an 8-week quit program with decreasing amounts of nicotine as the program progresses. Patches are applied directly to the skin, and are changed daily.
- Nicotine Gum and Nicotine Lozenge: Both are available over the counter in 2 and 4 mg strengths. They help to substitute oral activity as well as decrease nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine is released into the body through the inner lining of the mouth.
- Nicotine Nasal Spray: Available by prescription only. The spray is similar to nasal decongestant spray, and delivers nicotine through the nasal membranes. Nicotine is delivered into the body more quickly than the gum and lozenges.
- Nicotine Inhaler: Available by prescription only. The inhaler is designed similarly to fast acting asthma inhalers/puffers. Nicotine is delivered through the lining of the mouth.
- Prescription Drugs: Varenicline and Bupropion are both prescription drugs approved by the FDA to treat nicotine addiction. Bupropion is an antidepressant marketed as Zyban®, and can be used safely with other nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine gum. Varenicline, also know as Chantix®, was FDA approved in 2006 to treat nicotine addiction. Ask a doctor for more information about these prescriptions.
All forms of NRT have side effects; most are fairly easy to tolerate. Nicotine Replacement Therapy is not designed to be used while still smoking (or using other tobacco products). It becomes a health concern if you are using NRT as well as using your normal amount of tobacco product. Withdrawal from NRT products is uncommon and most people find it easy to gradually stop using them after they have completely stopped using tobacco products.
*Students can purchase gum and/or patches in the SHC Pharmacy.
**Students interested in prescription related nicotine replacement therapy may schedule an appointment with a SHC provider at (205) 348-2778.
How to Help Someone Quit
- Express your own concern about the smoker’s health
- Acknowledge that the smoker may find it difficult to quit.
- Be aware that nicotine withdrawals may make them grouchy and irritable; try to be understanding and forgive them.
- Be encouraging and express your faith that the smoker can quit for good.
- Give lots of praise and offer rewards for getting through a day, week, or a month without using tobacco products.
- Offer to do things together that do not involve smoking.
- Help them out in tough situations like social events and stressful times.
- Suggest a specific action, such as calling a smoking quit line for help in quitting smoking.
- Ask the smoker for ways you can provide support.
- Don’t send quitting materials to tobacco users unless they ask for them.
- Don’t criticize, nag, or remind the person about past failures.
- Don’t tell them how easy it was for you or someone else you know who has quit.
- Don’t use tobacco products around your friend.