Thinking about giving up your smoke or snuff? Whether you’re 6 months away from quitting or ready to quit tomorrow-we’ve got a variety of resources for you on campus at MSUB.
Medical Consultations for Prescriptions
Referrals for prescription medication are available for students at Students Health Services. Employees are encouraged to work with their primary care providers in the community.
Quit kits are available at the front desk of Student Health Services on campus. The Quit Kits include cinnamon candies, straws and toothpicks to have in your mouth when trying to quit, as well as silly putty to have in your hands. The kit also includes informational pamphlets to help keep you on your path to quit.
Spit Kits are available at the front desk of Student Health Services on campus. Spit Kits include cinnamon candies, gum, straws and toothpicks to keep in your mouth when trying to quit tobacco. They also include a small handheld mirror for oral self-exams for preventing oral cancer. Lastly, they include additional information on resources to quit using tobacco.
Student Health Services
Located across from the entrance to Petro Residence Hall on the 2nd Floor
Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in the country. More than 5,000 Americans start smoking cigarettes each day. And that is despite the fact they know the damaging effects it has on the human body. One in five deaths in the United States is related to tobacco use. And every ten seconds, someone dies from a disease related to smoking.
When you smoke, your pulse quickens, causing your heart to beat an extra 10-25 times per minute…or as many as 36,000 additional times a day. This forces the heart to work harder and can contribute to the risk of a heart attack. Cigarette smoking is directly responsible for at least 20% of all deaths from heart disease; it lowers “good” cholesterol levels, causing deterioration of elastic properties in the aorta and increases the risk for blood clots.
Cigarette smoke attacks the lungs’ natural defenses and can completely paralyze the natural cleaning process. Excess mucus in the lungs will make you more susceptible to colds, flus, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Continued exposure can lead to lung cancer and lung disease, including pneumonia and emphysema.
Lung cancer is just one of the serious health risks caused by smoking. Smokers and chewers are also susceptible to cancers of the larynx, mouth, esophagus, bladder, pancreas, kidney, and stomach.
Smokers have a much higher risk of developing two major sight-threatening conditions. Macular degeneration can occur when the macula, the central part of the retina at the back of your eye, becomes scarred, robbing the person of central vision. Research has shown that smokers are about 3 times more likely to develop cataracts, a gradual thickening that develops in the lens of the eye. Smoke can also cause serious irritation for those who wear soft contact lenses.
Irritating gases in cigarette smoke, such as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and others, can cause serious irritation to the sensitive membranes in the nose and throat. The results: a runny nose and the proverbial smoker’s cough. Continued exposure can produce abnormal thickening in the throat lining, a condition, when accompanied with cellular changes, that has been linked to throat cancer.
Stained yellow teeth, bad breath and an acute loss in your sense of taste are just some of the less serious consequences of smoking. Smoking, as well as the use of spit tobacco or “chew”, can also contribute to cancer of the lips, gums and throat.
Smoker’s have what is called a “smoker’s face”. Characterized by a grayish appearance of the skin and deep lines around the corners of the eyes and mouth, smoker’s face is cause by a lack of oxygen to the skin. These conditions occur because smoking constricts the blood vessels in the skin’ making it more susceptible to wrinkling.
Male Reproductive System
The negative effects of smoking on the blood vessels leading to the male reproductive organs may mean men can experience erectile dysfunction or even impotency. Smoking can also affect fertility by decreasing sperm count and mobility.
Female Reproductive System
Smoking can result in fewer reproductive years and a sharp decline in fertility for women. Female smokers are three times more likely to be infertile and reach menopause one and three-quarter years earlier than non-smokers.
Research is finding a connection between the risk of developing breast cancer and smoking.
Smokers have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition that involves bone thinning. The loss of bone tissue, more prevalent among women, can result in an increase of bone fractures.
The carbon monoxide inhaled with each drag on a cigarette can stay in the bloodstream for up to six hours. Once in the bloodstream, it begins attacking the red blood cells, virtually replacing the oxygen your body needs to function. The process means less oxygen reaches the brain and other vital organs.
Smokers are at greater risk of developing peptic ulcers, Crohn’s disease and gallstones and can experience chronic heartburn. Smoking also affects the way the liver operates, particularly in terms of how it processes alcohol.
Smoking or chewing often quickly becomes a deeply-rooted habit for many daily users. You smoke/chew when you’re tired, when you’re anxious, when you’re drinking, when you’re driving, when you’re happy, sad, stressed nervous, or celebrating. When smoking becomes linked with several daily occurrences, it becomes a habit as much as it is an addiction to nicotine. Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco become a crutch. You may feel naked without it. You’ll suddenly alter you day in order to get it. Using tobacco can seriously alter your daily routine & lifestyle. Do you sometimes wish you didn’t have to worry about having cigarettes or smokeless tobacco?
Image of a Smoker/Chewer
Tobacco users may deter relationships due to their potential partner’s lack of tobacco use. Smoking also can cause premature aging, yellowing of the teeth, increased coughing, sickness, & the smell of smoke lingers on the skin, in the air, and on clothes. How do you want to be identified? As a smoker or a non-smoker?
Most people know the damaging effects that secondhand smoke can have on others. But did you think about the influence you have on children, peers, & co-workers? Many people choose to quit because they want to be a good role model for their children, siblings, nieces, nephews, parents, and co-workers. Is your influence & reputation related to smoking/chewing important to you?
It is certainly not getting any cheaper to use tobacco. With the rising cost due to taxes on tobacco products-it may be important to you to look at how much you’re spending on cigarettes or snuff. Take a look at what you spend daily, weekly, & monthly on tobacco products. In addition to these tangible costs, there are often health consequences which may add to healthcare costs-increased sickness & dental complications alone can really add up. Can you afford to smoke or chew? Check out the smoking calculator to find out how much tobacco is costing you.
Tobacco related death is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Each year over 400,000 people die from tobacco-related causes including 50,000 people who have never used tobacco. Negative effects from tobacco use and secondhand smoke are major health issues that can help change. The primary goals for the Tobacco-Free MSUB initiative are to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke (a known carcinogen) on campus and to aid tobacco users who want to quit with on campus resources. If a tobacco-free policy is passed, the use of tobacco will not be permitted inside or outside on campus grounds.
While quitting tobacco can seem like a daunting thing, everyday people successfully quit. Nicotine is highly addictive; however, with a variety of tools and support you can make quitting a reality for you.
Setting a Quit Date and Making a Quit Plan
Once a person has decided to quit, it’s time to pick the all-important Quit Date. Make sure it’s pretty soon — like maybe in the next month. Choosing one too far in the future will make it easier to rationalize a way out of it. But there also needs to be enough time to get prepared. Then it’s time to come up with a solid plan. Here are some steps to help you get prepared.
What to Do When the Quit Day Comes
Dealing with Withdrawal
Everybody knows that withdrawal comes with the territory of quitting but that doesn’t make it any easier. It can be hard and even frustrating for the person quitting to deal with withdrawal and for those around the person. But understanding what’s going on, physically and psychologically, can help and can assist you in helping a friend quit.
If and when a smoker goes through withdrawal, they need to keep this in mind. Even though they may not act like themselves, and they may feel rotten, these feelings will pass. After 30 days or so, and after they’ve quit smoking, all this will be behind them. In the meantime, here are some of the withdrawal symptoms smokers may experience and what they can do about them.
Staying Quit (Maintenance)
Staying quit is the final, and most important, stage of the process. Many of the same methods can be used to stay quit as were used to help get through withdrawal. A smoker should think ahead to those times when they may feel the urge to smoke and plan on how they will use alternatives and activities to deal with it.
Here are some things a smoker can do if they feel tempted to start smoking again:
Many smokers have heard the negative effects of smoking and know that quitting can lower chances of getting related cancers. However, the benefits of quitting begin with the first 20 minutes and can continue as long as one stays quit.
After smoking the last cigarette:
2 Weeks to 3 Months
1 to 9 Months