Smoking Cessation

Towson University is a smoke-free campus, and students, faculty, and staff can get support for quitting tobacco. The Health Center can help you get started on your quit journey for free. 

Benefits of Quitting

Whether you smoke cigarettes, vape, juul, or chew tobacco, we can help you quit. While the motivating reasons for quitting vary person to person, it’s clear that there are many benefits to stopping tobacco use. Finding those reasons that motivate you to quit are important reminders for when you decide to be tobacco-free. Perhaps you'll find some inspiration from the list below.

Those who quit using tobacco products find that:

  • they have sharper hearing and better vision
  • their risk of a heart attack declines within 24 hours
  • breathing comes easier, and so does physical activity
  • their risk of cancer drops significantly
  • the amount of money saved by cutting out tobacco products adds up
  • the health of those around them also improves
  • they’ve added years to their lives

Within the first 20 minutes of quitting, your body will begin to heal. Withdrawal can be difficult, but that’s a sign that your health is improving.

Where to Start

The best way to quit using tobacco products is with the use of medications and behavioral counseling — both are available for free at the Health Center. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with a tobacco treatment specialist, please email  to schedule your first appointment. 

Nicotine Replacement Therapies

The first line of treatment to support tobacco cessation are Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT). Many NRT are available over-the-counter, but a few require a prescription. The table below describes the different NRT options.

Medication Proper Use Pros Cons

Nicotine Gum

**Available at the Health Center**

Chew the gum slowly until you feel a tingling sensation in your mouth. Stop chewing and park the piece between your cheek and gums. Once the tingling is gone, repeat this process.  Do not eat or drink 15 minutes prior to or during use. Use for 20-30 minutes. Up to 24 pieces per day. Fast-acting to help manage cravings. Available without a prescription. 

Improper use could lead to side effects. Not recommended for those with dental issues.

Nicotine Lozenge

**Available at the Health Center**

Do not suck or chew. Let the lozenge dissolve slowly between your cheek and gum. Do not eat or drink 15 minutes prior to or during use. Use for 30 minutes. Up to 20 lozenges per day.

Fast-acting to help manage cravings. Available without a prescription. Easy usage.  Great option for smokeless tobacco users.

Improper use could lead to side effects. Not recommended for those with dental issues.

Nicotine Patch

**Available at the Health Center**

Place patch above waist on non-hairy area. Hold in place for 10-15 seconds. Avoid neck, breast tissue, tattoos, and scars. Change patch daily in a new location on the body. Remove patch prior to bedtime (unless otherwise indicated). This method delivers a steady dose of nicotine throughout the day.

Slower onset of nicotine may not help with immediate urges. Recommend using with fast-acting products such as nicotine gum or lozenges.

Nicotine Inhaler

Insert cartridge into the device. Place mouthpiece between lips and tilt it slightly towards roof of mouth. "Suck" like a straw. Replace cartridge when nicotine taste is gone. Use up to 16 cartridges per day. Fast-acting to help manage cravings. Can simulate hand to mouth motion of smoking. Has a similar sensation to menthol cigarettes.

Improper use could cause throat irritation. Available by prescription only.

Nicotine Spray

Blow your nose first. Then tilt your head back slightly. Exhale all the air out of your lungs. Insert tip of bottle into nostril. Spray once in each nostril. Do not inhale or sniff while spraying. Wait 2-3 minutes before blowing your nose. Fastest acting NRT product. Is quite helpful in managing cravings.

Takes 1-2 weeks for sinus cavities to adjust to using a spray. Due to nasal irritation may not be used as frequently as needed. Could become addictive. Available by prescription only.

Other Assistive Medications

If you are not interested in Nicotine Replacement Therapy, these other medications may be great options to help you quit.

Medication Proper Use Pros Cons

Buproprion/Zyban/Wellbutrin

 

Daily oral medication. Start 7-10 days before your quit date. Wait 8 hours between doses. Contact your doctor if you experience any changes in mood or behavior. Few interactions with other medications. Can assist with depressive symptoms after quitting. Can be used with NRT. Helps slow weight gain. May be covered by insurance. Not effective with all users. Cannot be used if person has a seizure disorder, serious head injury, eating disorder, uncontrolled angina, has had a heart attack within the last two weeks, or high blood pressure. Available by prescription only.

Varenicline/Chantix

**Available at the Health Center with a prescription**

Daily oral medication. Start 7-10 days before quit date. Take with full meal and glass of water. Wait 8 hours between doses. Contact doctor if you experience any changes in mood or behavior. Reduces cravings for tobacco. In clinical trials it was more effective than any NRT. Cannot use with any other NRT. May cause nausea, sleep disturbances, and negative mood changes. Available by prescription only.