Frequently Asked Questions
I went to your YouTube channel, which led me to your website. I’ve been trying to quit smoking for a year but somehow always go back to smoking. Can you please tell me how I can truly quit?
Thank you for contacting us. It’s wonderful to know you want to quit smoking! We could put you in touch with someone who can assist and possibly send you nicotine replacement products. There are also free programs available online visit (https://smokefree.gov/) and by phone (1-877-937-7848 press 8 for Spanish). You can also check out https://smokefree.gov/tools-tips/apps for a free app to help you quit. For more information please see the documents below.
I am a smoker who experiences physical and mental health conditions, such as anxiety and asthma. I would like to quit, but I don’t have the finances needed to purchase nicotine replacement therapy. Are there any programs that can assist me in getting nicotine replacement therapy products?
I am very sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. I can’t be certain of the reasons why you are experiencing all these symptoms; some may be due to nicotine withdrawal symptoms; others may not. It is best to ask your primary care physician and ask him or her directly if your symptoms are due to quitting smoking.
We encourage you to call the Texas QuitLine (1-877-YES-QUIT) or register online (www.yesquit.org). You may be eligible for free nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges. If this is not an option, generic nicotine replacement therapies are significantly cheaper and works just as well as name brand products. These products can be purchased over-the-counter at any pharmacy or large retail stores (Target, Walmart, Costco, etc.). You can also chew sugar-free chewing gum, suck on a cinnamon stick, and drink lots of water to help you with some of the urges to smoke.
Why is quitting smoking so hard?
The short answer is because the nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive. When people begin to use tobacco products, they quickly develop a tolerance to nicotine and need to use more products to get the desired effect. After a period of time, the person becomes used to having a certain level of nicotine and if the person doesn’t get that level of nicotine, then they experience withdrawal symptoms and have strong cravings – so they use more tobacco products. To better understand how our bodies become addicted to nicotine and why it is so hard to quit, watch this video (add link to the video on nicotine addiction from Mayo Clinic on website- can't find it).
How soon can I see benefits after I quit smoking?
Many people, even if they are relatively young, believe it is too late to quit smoking and they have already harmed their body beyond repair. For the vast majority of people, your body will recover very quickly and reverse much of the damage that cigarettes have caused and it doesn’t take long to see the positive results. For example, people typically see an increase in lung function and are able to take full deep breaths about 6 weeks after quitting smoking. To view a list of the benefits of quitting smoking, visit the American Cancer Society website or watch our video on the benefits of quitting smoking.
What are some first steps I can take to quit?
The fact that you are reading this information is a significant first step! You are learning about what it takes to quit and why it is so hard. Continue to do research and begin to develop a quit plan (link to the quit plans on our website). Visiting or calling the Texas Quitline (www.yesquit.org or 1-877-YES-QUIT) is a great next step. There are many resources available at www.smokefree.gov to take to guide you through these steps. Ultimately, you will want to set a quit date and continue to move forward from that point, even you have a slip or start smoking again.
Can I use an e-cigarette to quit smoking?
Electronic cigarettes or vape pens are currently being researched by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has not regulated or approved their use as NRT, and they contain known toxins and carcinogens. For this reason, we do not recommend their use in this manner. Only FDA-approved NRT (patches, gum, lozenges) should be used to quit tobacco use.
If nicotine is in tobacco products, why would I use medication that has nicotine in it? Won’t that give me cancer too?
The nicotine in tobacco causes addiction. Other than being addictive, nicotine has few negative health effects. It may raise your heart rate and blood pressure a little, but other than that, it doesn’t really harm your body. Nicotine does not cause cancer. The thousands of other chemicals found in tobacco are what’s harmful to your health.
Nicotine replacement therapy helps reduce withdrawal symptoms, which makes it easier to quit. There’s only a small chance someone will become addicted to nicotine replacement therapy.
We know quitting tobacco is hard and may feel overwhelming. But with the right resources and support, you can do it.
Can I use more than one nicotine patch at a time?
Is it dangerous to combine nicotine replacement therapies, like using both a patch and a lozenge at the same time?
Do I need a prescription to get nicotine replacement therapy?
I’m worried that having my client focus on quitting smoking will jeopardize their substance use treatment recovery. Should I wait to address their tobacco use until after they recover from their substance use?
Research has shown that people who have a substance use disorder (SUD) see a decrease in depression, anxiety, stress levels, and substance use after they quit using tobacco. Associated improvements are shown to have a greater than or equal effect as antidepressants for depressive and anxiety disorders. For people receiving services for chemical dependency, quitting smoking increases the likelihood of long-term abstinence by 25%. It could be said that it is counter-therapeutic to refrain from assisting clients with quitting tobacco when research shows that 1 out of every 2 people with a SUD, who continue to smoke, will likely die from a tobacco-related illness.
Our center passed a smoke-free/tobacco-free policy already but people still use on the grounds all the time. Can these policies be effectively enforced?
It is a right to smoke. Isn’t it against the law to prohibit people from smoking?
Does prohibiting clients from using tobacco on the grounds negatively impact treatment outcomes?
TTTF recommends that tobacco-free workplace policies include e-cigarettes. Is the aerosol from the electronic cigarettes/vape pens harmful?