Helping CU students quit nicotine products is a vital part of our mission to support health, wellness and academic success. While just 21% of CU students use cigarettes, over 73% of these students want to quit. Quitting can be tough, but there are resources on and off campus to support those who want to quit.

girl looking out over mountains

Quitting nicotine

People decide to quit for a number of reasons. Whether it's for health, finances, or personal relationships, choosing to quit using nicotine can be beneficial to your physical and mental health. It also takes time and energy, so being prepared and learning what works and what doesn’t can reduce the stress that comes with the process. Here are a few things to keep in mind about quitting:

  • Creating a detailed plan before you quit increases your likelihood of success.
  • Using stress management and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, exercising and engaging in joyful activities can help prevent relapse.
  • Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) like the patch, gum, and cough drops can reduce withdrawal symptoms and help minimize cravings.
  • People are most successful at quitting nicotine products when they combine NRT or other pharmaceutical aids with cessation counseling and support.
  • While cravings can be tough, they actually don’t last more than 1 – 5 minutes. Having a distraction such as a mobile game or a Rubik’s Cube can help until the craving passes.

Man vaping

Things to consider when vaping

Opt for nicotine-free or low-dose products
While most vape oils contain nicotine, there are a number of options available that are nicotine-free. These can be a better alternative for those who vape but want to avoid the addictive effects. If you do choose to use nicotine-based products, look for lower-dose options (1.5-3 mg). Opting for lower nicotine levels can help to satisfy cravings without overloading your system.

Not all vapes are equal
Dosage matters, but the device you use is just as important. Power (wattage) can vary from device to device. Knowing the wattage of your device can help you make better decisions around dosage. High-powered devices (20+ watts), should be used with low dose oils (less than 3 mg) in order to reduce adverse side effects.

Know your limits
It’s important to know your limits when it comes to nicotine, especially if you are new to nicotine. Your tolerance may not be as high as those that use more regularly, so start slow. Consuming too much nicotine can cause negative side effects, including:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or stomach ache
  • Eye irritation
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Sweating

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

If you experience any of these symptoms within the first 15-60 minutes of vaping, call the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222, and follow-up with your healthcare provider.

You may also want to consider reducing how often and how much you vape, which can reduce the chances of unwanted health consequences. If you’re a regular smoker or tobacco user, consider lowering your nicotine dose by at least one level when vaping.

Use proper disposal methods
Did you know vape products are considered hazardous materials and should never be thrown away in normal trash or recycling bins? Devices, pods and batteries can be disposed of in designated drop boxes. Drop boxes are available in the Health Promotion office on the 3rd floor of Wardenburg Health Center and at the West Boulder Recycling Center on 63rd Street.

Avoid sharing
Sharing with friends may mean you’re getting higher doses of nicotine than you’re used to. It can also expose you to a number of diseases including the common cold, flu, mono and meningitis, which can be transferred from person to person through saliva. Keep yourself healthy and safe by using your own vape and keeping it clean.

Cessation Resources

Health Promotion

Health Promotion offers free quit kits and one-on-one nicotine cessation consultations to support students with identifying goals and creating a plan. Walk in or call to schedule an appointment at 303-492-2937.

Colorado QuitLine

The QuitLine is a free online resource for Colorado residents 15 years of age and older. It offers resources such as community support, evidence-based research, and online and over-the-phone coaching. Those who enroll in the telephone program via 1-800-QUIT-NOW are also eligible to receive a supply of NRT. is an interactive website that can help with creating a quit plan and includes apps and a mobile version for accessing cessation resources on the go. Stay up-to-date with their resources and campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Learn more about the impacts of nicotine