Healthy Buffs: Thinking of quitting tobacco?

The end of the spring semester can be a time of change. There’s a lot on the horizon: whether it’s finding a job, planning a trip or making a plan to quit tobacco, having support can go a long way towards reaching our goals.

What are some things to consider about quitting tobacco?

Choosing to quit using tobacco is beneficial to your physical and mental health. It takes time and energy, so being prepared and learning what works and what doesn’t can help ensure your success. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Cessation counseling can help you create a detailed plan before you quit, including setting a start date, determining if you want to use a quit-aid and identifying potential triggers.
  • Share your plan with a few close friends or family members and ask for their support to stay on track.
  • Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) like the patch, gum and lozenges can reduce withdrawal symptoms and minimize cravings.
  • While cravings can be tough, they typically 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.
  • Practicing stress management and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, exercising and reading can help prevent relapse.

Be patient with yourself. Quitting tobacco takes time, commitment and self-love. If you slip and have a cigarette, don’t beat yourself up. You’ve learned something new about what worked and what didn’t; apply that knowledge to continue forward. Most smokers try several times before they quit for good.

The Healthy Buffs series is brought to you by Wardenburg Health Services. Visit us online at www.colorado.edu/health

What resources can help me quit?

Health Promotion (on campus) offers free quit kits and one-on-one tobacco cessation counseling to support students with identifying goals and creating a plan. Walk in to UMC 411 or call 303-492-2937 to schedule an appointment.

The Colorado QuitLine is a free online resource for Colorado residents 15 years of age and older. It offers resources including community support and online and over-the-phone coaching. Those who enroll in the telephone program via 1-800-QUIT-NOW are also eligible to receive 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. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

There are also a variety of mobile apps, such as Quit Pro, Smoke Free and quitSTART, that can help with managing cravings, tracking progress and getting tips for quitting.