Helping CU students quit tobacco 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.
People decide to quit for a number of reasons. Whether it's for health, finances, or personal relationships, choosing to quit using tobacco 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 tobacco 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.
Health Promotion offers free quit kits and one-on-one tobacco cessation counseling to support students with identifying goals and creating a plan. Walk in or call to schedule an appointment at 303-492-2937.
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.
Smokefree.gov 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.
Tobacco and Health
- Studies show that people who smoke cigarettes contract colds, flu, bronchitis and pneumonia more frequently than who don’t.
- Using tobacco products while on hormonal birth control increases the risk of having a stroke, blood clotting disease or heart attack.
- The tobacco industry is responsible for human rights violations worldwide including child labor, lack of basic health and safety measures for workers, and promoting tobacco addiction in children.
- Many smokeless tobacco products (such as chew or dip) contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals, putting users at a much higher risk of getting cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas.
- Smoking cigarettes effects the body’s circulation, which can compromise its ability to heal and increases the risk of injuries like sprains and fractures.
- The number of tobacco-related deaths in the US is higher than the number of deaths caused by illegal drug use, HIV, car crashes, alcohol abuse, murders and suicides combined.
- A lifetime of smoking can cost between one million and two million dollars.
Environmental Impacts of Tobacco
- The polymer acetate of filters of cigarettes are comprised of thousands of fibers that can take up to 15 years to break down. The residue from tobacco in cigarette butts releases toxins in the environment. Trillions of cigarette butts are discarded every year.
- Tobacco crops require heavy pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer use. Chemicals from these products can be harmful to farm workers, poison livestock and food crops and seep into the soil and pollute waterways and ecological systems.
- On average, one tree is cut down for every 300 cigarettes made, which equates to about a two-week supply for someone who smokes a pack a day.
E-Cigarettes and Vaporizers
Electronic cigarettes, often called e-cigarettes, vaporizers, or vape pens, are battery-powered handheld devices that heat up liquid cartridges to vaporize them.
- Many e-cigarette users consume more nicotine per day than they did when they were using only conventional cigarettes. This is because people are more likely to use e-cigarettes indoors and in their cars due to the lack of the same odors that conventional cigarettes produce.
- E-cigarettes aren’t effective at helping people quit. Many people who use e-cigarettes often continue to use regular cigarettes or other tobacco products.
- E-cigarettes can increase germs’ resistance to antibiotics, increasing risk of contracting MRSA and antibiotic-resistant pneumonia.
- While most e-cigarettes produce fewer carcinogens than conventional cigarettes, many still contain nicotine, formaldehyde, diacetyl, and/or other harmful chemicals.