You might be worried about the effect tobacco is having on your health, and for good reason. Tobacco causes cancer and makes almost all diseases harder to manage. Quitting is not easy, but it is possible, and we are here to help!
I'm ready to quit! How do I do it?
- Your medical team is ready to help! Make an appointment to talk with them about reducing or quitting today!
- Your therapist or behavioral health professional can also help
- Counseling support can increase your chances of quitting. The CA Smokers’ Helpline will provide you with counseling and two weeks of free nicotine patches. Call them now at 1-800-NO-BUTTS / 800-987-2908.
- Text programs are also available! text Quit Smoking to 66819 from your mobile phone.
- Listen to our podcast to learn more about the impact tobacco has on us and our communities. Topics include menthol, self-care, nicotine and more.
How do I know if my smoking is a problem?
If you answer YES to three or more of the following, you may have tobacco use disorder
- Do you ever smoke or vape more or for longer than you meant to?
- Do you want to quit or have you tried unsuccessfully to quit?
- Do you spending lots of time getting and/or using tobacco or vapes?
- Do you ever crave tobacco or vapes?
- Have you ever been unable to take care of school, work or home tasks because of tobacco or vapes?
- Do you continue smoking or vaping even though you know a health problem is worse because of it?
- Do you notice you need more and more tobacco or vapes to get the same effect?
- Have you noticed negative physical or mental effects when you've tried to cut back or quit?
Tobacco and vapes are addictive because they contain nicotine. Nicotine is a chemical that tricks your brain into making a hormone called dopamine that temporarily makes you feel good. Your brain and body gets used to this over time and so it takes more and more nicotine to make you feel good. Tobacco contains 7000 other chemicals, many of them are known to cause cancer and other serious health problems.
Smoking and vaping have many physical and mental health risks to you and to those around you.
Some of these include:
- Make conditions like diabetes, heart disease, asthma and high blood pressure harder to manage
- Put people you love, especially children, at risk of having health problems like asthma and ear infections
- Increase your risk for COVID-19
- Make you more likely to have depression
- Make you more at risk of having other addictive behaviors
Quitting tobacco or vapes has many benefits!
Some of these include:
- Easier to breathe
- Risk of cancer goes down
- Diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure or cholesterol becomes easier to manage
- Mood improves
- Save money
- Stop thinking about the next cigarette and have more time for other activities
What does treatment look like?
- People are usually most successful at quitting if they use medication together with counseling. Remember, you won’t need to use this medicine forever, just while your body adjusts to being tobacco free.
- Counseling can be as simple as a phone call each week. It keeps you on track, helps you identify and add different behaviors that will help you be more successful.
- There are 7 medications available! There is bound to be one that works for you.
You can buy this yourself at the pharmacy or ask your doctor to prescribe it. You suck it and park it between your cheek and gums. It helps with temporary cravings.
You can buy this yourself at the pharmacy or ask your doctor to prescribe it. You chew it until you feel a tingling sensation and then park it between your cheek and gums. It helps with temporary cravings.
Nicotine Nasal Spray
Your doctor can prescribe this. You spray each nostril and it helps reduce cravings.
Your doctor can prescribe this. You puff on it and it helps reduce cravings.
You can buy this yourself at the pharmacy or ask your doctor to prescribe it. You apply the patch to a different clean, hairless area every 24 hours. It helps around the clock with tobacco cravings.
Zyban or Wellbutrin
This is a pill that your doctor can prescribe. It does not contain nicotine. It works by helping your mood by allowing your brain to use more dopamine. It also blocks the rewarding effects of nicotine.
Chantix or Varenicline
This is a pill that your doctor can prescribe. It does not contain nicotine. It works by helping you feel some of the positive mood that nicotine provides, while also stopping nicotine from having an effect.