Tools to Help You Quit Smoking


On-Campus Resources

Medical Clinic at the LU Student Health Center: Dr. Kolcun and Nurse Practitioners Dover and Guyote can help students in their journey to stop smoking. Students are welcome to make an appointment to discuss medications that are available to aid in smoking cessation. Educational materials are also available. Call the Student Health Center at 408-880-8466 to set up an appointment.

Counseling Clinic at the LU Student Health Center: Dr. Shannon Hicks is a smoking cessation specialist and earned certification in 2014. Rodna Willett, LPC has long-term experience with addiction and substance abuse counseling. Paired with the medical clinic, we have substantial experience and support to assist students who want to stop smoking. Call the LU Student Health Center at 408-880-8466 to set up an appointment.


National Resources to Help You Quit

  • YesQuit: A Texas Department of State Health Services program. You have the option to quit by phone or quit through an online program.
  • 1-800-QUIT-NOW: The CDC national quitline. Connected with the Tips from Former Smokers campaign. The quitSTART app is also available. For Spanish, call 1-855-335-3569.
  • Smokefree.gov: A free resource to help you quit smoking. Great for building a plan to quit, personalized to you.

Why You Should Quit

Your Health: Quitting smoking is the single most important step a smoker can take to improve length and quality of life. As soon as you quit, your body begins to repair damage caused by smoking. This also includes chewing tobacco and vaping.

Your Wallet: Even if a pack costs “only” $5 where you live, smoking one pack per day adds up to $1,825 each year.

Your Convenience: More states and cities are passing smoke free laws for bars, restaurants, and other public places, including university campuses. This makes it harder for smokers, pushing them to go outside and off-campus to smoke. Wouldn't it be easier if you could choose to go outside only when you want to and not when you need to smoke?

Your Friends and Family: Secondhand smoke harms everyone who inhales it, not just the smoker.

Other Important Benefits:

  • Food tastes better.
  • Your sense of smell returns to normal.
  • Your breath, hair, and clothes smell better.
  • Your teeth and fingernails stop yellowing.
  • Ordinary activities leave you less out of breath (for example, climbing stairs or light housework).
  • You can be in smoke-free buildings without having to go outside to smoke.

Information provided by the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society.


Benefits of Quitting

Within minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your body begins to recover:
  • 20 minutes after quitting - Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • 12 hours after quitting - The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting - Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting - Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs (called cilia) start to regain normal function in your lungs, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
  • 1 year after quitting - The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.
  • 5 years after quitting - Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Your stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2 to 5 years.
  • 10 years after quitting - Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. Your risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.
  • 15 years after quitting - Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.
Information provided by the American Cancer Society.

Tips to Quit Tobacco

  • Get ready. Pick the date you want to quit and work towards reducing how much you smoke/use tobacco.
  • Get support. Ask friends and family for support. Ask your doctor for recommendations.
  • Learn new skills and behaviors. Change your daily routine to avoid triggers for tobacco use.
  • Consider nicotine replacement therapy. These are sold over the counter and by prescription. Refer to your doctor with any questions you have.
  • Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations. Many times, it takes multiple attempts to quit.

Adapted from MDAnderson.org.


Fast Facts on E-Cigarettes

  • E-Cigarettes are not FDA approved, and until recently there was no regulation on the product.
  • E-Cigarettes contain nicotine, the addictive substance found in cigarettes, hookah, cigars, and other tobacco products.
    • Brain development is ongoing until approximately aged 25, so many college students using these devices or experiencing second hand affects are at greater risk of forming dependence or affecting proper brain development.
  • The amount of nicotine contained in an e-cigarette is often not properly labeled, which can lead to dependency. Some products even label themselves as nicotine free but have later been found to contain nicotine.
    • According to the Centers for Disease Control, one “Juul pod” (the most popular brand of e-cigarette) can contain up to the same nicotine levels as 20 cigarettes.
  • Although the term “vapor” may sound harmless, the aerosol that comes out of an e-cigarette is not water vapor and can be harmful. E-cigarette vapor can contain substances that are addictive and can cause lung disease, heart disease, and cancer.
  • The FDA does not currently require e-cigarette manufacturers to stop using potentially harmful substances. And, it is difficult to know exactly what chemicals are in an e-cigarette because most products do not list all of the harmful or potentially harmful substances contained in them.
    • Some of these harmful substances include formaldehyde, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can cause significant damage to the body, and other chemicals, such as diacetyl, which have been linked to serious health issues.
  • E-Cigarettes are still being studied and the effects of them are still not completely clear, but the current research suggests that E-Cigarettes are still harmful to all users and may still provide negative impacts to others second-hand.

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