Quitting Tobacco

Most people who use tobacco often plan to quit after they graduate college and are in the "real work world." Or you might say that you only "socially smoke" when your out with friends. However, if you ask someone who is a tobacco user, whether they are smoking cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, or chewing tobacco they will all say that "it is one of the toughest things to quit." 

So why not get a  jump start on your plans to quit, and think about quitting before you graduate? 

Keep in mind that some corporations are considered smoke-free, especially hospital grounds and some universities. Some workplaces have even stopped hiring smokers. With all the hard work you put into your school and working towards that amazing job – let's get you tobacco free so that will not be a roadblock in attaining your dream job! 

 Quitting Tobacco 

Have you ever tried to quit your tobacco use? Or even gone for extended periods of time without using tobacco? Take some time to right down some reasons you want to quit your tobacco use. This will help you in your journey to be tobacco free and remind you of why you want to quit. Tobacco is both a mental and physical addiction, take a look at some resources to help your body and mind quit tobacco. 

Getting help with the mental part of addiction 

It is possible to quit on your own without the help of others or the use of medications. But for many, it can be challenging to break the cycle of addiction and the support of family, friends counselors and even nicotine replacement therapies and other methods for quitting have been proven to be helpful in quitting tobacco. Here are some options to help you quit. 

Group or Individual Support: 

  • Courage to Quit Program: 6 sessions of individual or group counseling. Location: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago Medicine - 5841 S. Maryland Ave. Chicago, IL 
    Click Here for more information or call (773) 702-3858
    Cost: Accepts most PPO Insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid (No HMO) 

  • Smoking Cessation Program: designed to help you quit within two to three sessions. 
    Location: Asthma and COPD Center at the University of Chicago Medicine - 5841 S. Maryland Ave. Chicago, IL 60637 
    Click Here for more information or call (773) 702-9952 
    Cost: Accepts insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, BCBS, Sigma, etc.) 

Getting help with the physical part of addiction 

Keep in mind that quitting tobacco is not easy. There are smokers that can quit smoking without any assistance, but most who attempt to quit do not succeed on the first try. In fact, most smokers usually need many tries – sometimes as many as 10 or more – before they are successful at quitting for good. Combining some type of emotional support like counseling with a type of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or medication proves to be the most successful for people to be successful at quitting tobacco for good. 

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) – because the nicotine in tobacco products is addicting and can lead to actual physical dependence, this can cause withdrawal symptoms when a person tries to quit. NRT provides nicotine in the form of gums, patches, sprays, inhalers, or lozenges – without the other harmful chemicals. NRT can help a person quit tobacco and relieve some of those physical withdrawal symptoms so you can focus on the emotional aspects of tobacco dependence as well. NRT has been proven successful for many people, however, it is not for everyone or necessary to quit tobacco dependence. Always consult with your doctor before starting any medications or NRT to see if you are healthy enough and in case you are being prescribed and treated with other medications. Your doctor can also help you choose which NRT or medication is right for you. 

  • Prescription Drugs – There are a variety of prescription drugs to help you quit smoking. The most common are Bupropion, Varenicline (Chantix), Nortriptyline, Clonidine and some more drugs that are not name brand or drugs still being tested. Your doctor can help you choose which options would be the best for you. 

  • Other Methods – This list is not exclusive, there are many different quit methods that may be effective for one person but not another. This is a list of common other methods tried, but there is no strong evidence that suggests they will help you quit tobacco. 

    • Hypnosis 

    • Acupuncture 

    • Magnet Therapy 

    • Low-level Laser Therapy 

    • Herbs and Supplements 

    • Mind Body Practices 

For more information on quitting tobacco using these methods, CLICK HERE  

If you are interested in quitting tobacco, visit your primary physician before starting any treatment or quit options, to choose the right options for you to be successful in quitting.