You Can Quit!
We know that at any given moment, smokers across the New College & USF community are at very different places when it comes to their thoughts about quitting tobacco.
Some of you are just seriously thinking about quitting, but haven’t made a firm commitment to do so just yet.
Others are ready to quit, and are planning on taking some kind of action very soon, and are putting together a plan to make it work this time.
Still others have begun to put their plans into action and have actively started to quit smoking. And, there are probably plenty of you who have already quit, and are just working to stay quit for good. No matter where you are in the process, New College Counseling & Wellness Center has information that can help you in the process.
Why Should I Quit?
Well, you probably already know that there are serious health consequences to smoking. And, you may also have heard somewhere that secondhand smoke has been shown to cause health problems to those around you. Chances are you know that using tobacco is costing you money, and lots of it. You may have even noticed that more and more restaurants, bars, businesses, and public places are going smoke free. You might even have your own personal reasons for wanting to quit that have nothing to do with health or research or finances or convenience.
This section of the website is dedicated to all the reasons that you might be considering in becoming tobacco-free. The information here may be a way to motivate you toward a tobacco free life, or it may just be a tool to reinforce what you already know. In any case, feel free to check out our interactive tools that will show you a little bit about how much you’re spending on tobacco right now, how addicted you are to tobacco, and how your body begins to change the moment you stop smoking. You can also read a little about the health effects that smoking has on your body, as well as those that secondhand smoke is having on those around you.
Health Effects of Smoking
We’ve all heard that smoking and tobacco use is dangerous, and that it causes health problems. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) is a greater cause of death and disability than any single disease, responsible for five million deaths worldwide each year. Tobacco use is a known or probable cause of more than 25 different diseases, and the WHO even says that they suspect that the full impact of tobacco’s impact on the body has still not been completely ass essed.
How your Body Recovers after you Quit Smoking
20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops. (“Effect of Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Pulse Pressure Amplification”, Mahmud, A, Feely, J. 2003. Hypertension:41:183.)
12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1988 , p. 202)
Your heart rate and blood pressure drops. (“Effect of Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Pulse Pressure Amplification”, Mahmud, A, Feely, J. 2003. Hypertension:41:183.)
2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases. (US Surgeon General’s 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. 285-287, 304)
1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)
5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)
10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. vi, 131, 148, 152, 155, 164,166)
15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)
Note that all of the information linked to here has been collected from the Centers for Disease Control.
How Can I Quit?
First of all, you are reading this, which says that you’re at least interested in making that first step. Great! You’re on your way to joining many others who have overcome the big challenge of becoming tobacco-free. You CAN quit!
Most people who quit smoking move through the same basic four steps on their way to being smoke-free: getting ready, making a plan, start stopping, and keeping it up. For information on stages of change, click here.
Information has been gathered to help you put together the plan that makes sense for you.
Here are some programs available for you to quit:
One On One Coaching
Florida Tobacco Quit-For-Life Line
Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs)
Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) help take care of the nicotine addiction so that the smoker can work on breaking the habit. NRTs are designed to reduce cravings for cigarettes and relieve the withdrawal symptoms people experience while trying to quit smoking. They work best for people who are addicted to nicotine and are really trying to quit. Smokers can now obtain these nicotine replacement products both with a doctor’s prescription and over-the-counter.
These products are useful in that they provide the user with the addictive Nicotine without the harmful tars and poisonous gases that are found in cigarettes and other tobacco products. And, they provide less Nicotine than would be found in a cigarette.
It is important to note that a tobacco user should quit completely before using a Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Smokers should not smoke any cigarettes while using the patch or any other NRT. Nicotine replacement products should be used in conjunction with a behavior change program.
NICOTINE CHEWING GUM
NICOTINE NASAL SPRAY
Bupropion hydrochloride, known commercially as Zyban, is a prescription medication designed to help smokers quit more easily than without the drug. It comes in a pill form. It does not contain nicotine.
Zyban’s history is interesting. Smokers who happened to be users of the anti-depression medication Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride) often reported a lessening in the desire for cigarettes. Through further testing, the drug was found to be effective in treating the smoking addiction, and helping smokers quit. GlaxoSmithKline “repackaged” Wellbutrin and marketed it as the smoking-cessation drug Zyban.
Common side effects include insomnia, dry mouth and dizziness.
Treatment with bupropion begins while the user is still smoking, one week prior to the quit date. Treatment is then continued for 7 to 12 weeks. Length of treatment is individualized. Dosing should begin at 150 mg/day given every day for the first 3 days, followed by a dose increase for most people to the recommended dose of 300 mg/day, starting on the 4 day of treatment. The maximum recommended dose is 300 mg/day, given as 150 mg twice daily. An interval of at least 8 hours between successive doses is advised. People who have not made significant progress towards abstinence by the seventh week of therapy are unlikely to successfully quit during this attempt, and bupropion treatment should be discontinued.
The average wholesale price for bupropion is approximately $2 per day.
The newest prescription drug Chantix, Varenicline tartrate, is only the second nicotine-free smoking-cessation drug to gain FDA approval. The active ingredient varenicline works in two ways – by cutting the pleasure of smoking and reducing the withdrawal symptoms that lead smokers to light up again and again.
The tablet will be taken twice-daily for 12 weeks, a period that can be doubled in patients who successfully quit to increase the likelihood they remain smoke-free.
The most common adverse side effects include: nausea, headache, vomiting, gas, insomnia, abnormal dreams, and a change in taste perception.
It is necessary with all types of medication to follow the doctor’s orders and use the products only as prescribed and/or according to labeling. For more information on these medications and Nicotine Replacement Therapy which aid smoking cessation, click here for the American Lung Association.
Excellent Podcast on Kicking the Habit at CDC.
Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (SmokingStopsHere.com)
[“Quiting smoking isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. And your first step begins with your first call.”]
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.