QUIT SMOKING/VAPING TIPS & RESOURCES
Support Is Available to Help with the Challenge of Quitting
Quitting nicotine addiction is tough. Some say it’s more difficult than quitting heroin. It can take a number of attempts before achieving success, but with the right kind of help everyone can do it, and lots of effective mostly free resources are available that can make it easier to quit.
Odds of Success Increase with Support
Many people quit smoking or vaping on their own, but the approximate odds of success increase dramatically with support. And these resources are often FREE!
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) like the nicotine patch and gum may be free or inexpensive, but effective free quit-nicotine (aka cessation) counseling is always available.
How Free Quit-Nicotine (Cessation) Counseling Helps
A tobacco cessation counselor can help you choose a day in the future that will be the best day to quit for you, and help you prepare for that day by…
Working with you to develop effective ways to resist cravings
Exploring alternate patterns of behavior that work for you to avoid habitual triggers to use tobacco
Helping you prepare to deal with the emotional stresses of quitting and staying quit
Providing extra support immediately after your quit day
Developing plans with you for how to avoid, or quickly recover from, relapses
If you prefer to gradually taper off your tobacco use prior to quitting, the counselor can help you manage that process safely and effectively, which can make your quit day less stressful. Counseling can also help if you want to cut down but aren’t yet ready to quit. Any steps in the right direction will help you to live a healthier life.
SUPPORT = SUCCESS
5% succeed with no support
10% succeed with support from their medical provider
20% succeed with quit-nicotine counseling (free)
20% succeed with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or other medications (often free)
35% succeed with NRT and quit-nicotine counseling
Stock photos. Posed by models.
How Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and Other Medications Help
NRTs are designed to provide a base level of nicotine in your body to help moderate the impact of nicotine withdrawal caused by quitting smoking or vaping. Different NRTs work differently, and often work well together to further increase your chances of success.
For example, the nicotine patch provides a steady amount of nicotine throughout the day, but sometimes that amount is not enough to guard against a strong craving. For those times, nicotine gum can be an effective way to temporarily boost the amount of nicotine in the body to help outlast the craving.
Two other medications that require a prescription help people to quit:
Bupropion/Zyban is an antidepressant that has been found to dramatically decrease cravings for cigarettes,
Varenicline/Chantix was developed specifically to help people quit tobacco. These medications are sometimes combined with NRT and are usually only used for a short time (around 8-16 weeks)
Your tobacco cessation counselor and medical provider will help you to determine the medical support that works best for you.
BAY AREA PROGRAMS
(All are virtual during COVID)
No Butts About It!
San Francisco Community Health Center regularly offers No Butts About It!, a 5-week class for transgender and non-binary people who are looking to decrease their tobacco use, often but not exclusively in preparation for gender-affirming surgery. The program prioritizes participants from San Francisco but anyone who is interested in the Bay Area should contact email@example.com.
Freedom From Smoking
Breathe California’s Ash Kickers program in San Jose is a 6-session program for adults that is generally held four times a year. Website: www.lungsrus.org/ash-kickers-smoking-cessation-program
Tobacco Cessation Counseling & Medication
Bay Area Community Health in Fremont offers a one-on-one tobacco cessation counseling program with medication assistance. (Medication free with Medi-Cal and most other insurance.)
Contact Manpreet Deol, MPH, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONLINE & PHONE RESOURCES
California Smokers’ Helpline
The California Smokers’ Helpline, www.nobutts.org, provides support in multiple languages and through multiple methods of communication. The classic phone helpline is 1-800-NO-BUTTS. Text and mobile apps are also available. The affiliated www.novapes.org offers online chat, text, phone and mobile apps.
This Is Quitting
Become An Ex
Become An Ex is a national online resource with multiple channels for success. They also provide an online “EX Community” of former smokers and people working on quitting who support each other through social media style posts. www.becomeanex.org.