Hiram College

Resources: Smoking and Drug/Alcohol Abuse

Smoking Cessation

Are you hooked on tobacco? Remember, smoking is an addiction, and most people find quitting a challenge. The Health Center can help you with tips and techniques to help you kick the habit. Make an appointment for individual counseling on how to quit or bring a friend who wants to quit with you.

The Health Center recommends the Quitza program. Quitza is the world’s first social smoking cessation network, allowing you to get support whenever and wherever you need it most. Studies show that people who have a support system in place are more successful in breaking the habit. Quitza offers around-the-clock support, personal progress reports, social awards and even gift card rewards.

For more information, visit Quitza’s website or call the Health Center at 330.569.5418.

Physical Improvements Following Cessation

20 minutes after a smoker quits

  • Blood pressure drops to a level close to that before the last cigarette
  • Temperature of hands and feet increases to normal

Eight hours after a smoker quits

  • Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal

24 hours after a smoker quits

  • Chance of heart attack decreases

Two weeks to three months after a smoker quits

  • Circulation improves
  • Lung function increases up to 30%

One to nine months after a smoker quits

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath decrease
  • Cilia regain normal function in lungs, increasing ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce infection.

One year after a smoker quits

  • Excess risk of coronary heart disease in half that of a smoker’s.

Five years after a smoker quits

  • Stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5 to 15 years after quitting.

10 years after a smoker quits

  • Lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s
  • Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases

15 Years after a smoker quits

  • Lung cancer death rate about half that of a continuing smoker’s
  • Risk of cancer of mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases
  • Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s

Tips to Trash Your Smoking Habit

Have you been trying to quit smoking? It’s probably tougher than you anticipated. The nicotine found in cigarettes is highly addictive, but is especially for a young adult who can become hooked after as few as 40 cigarettes. Until recently, experts thought that it took two years to get hooked, but new studies show that a nicotine addiction can be formed in as little as four weeks, even if you don’t smoke everyday.

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water, in the first few days after you quit. Limit coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol – they can increase your urge to smoke.
  • Talk to your health care provider about using a nicotine patch or gum to help calm your cravings. Contrary to popular belief, quitting “cold turkey” is not the best way to quit for everyone.
  • Always have something to put in your mouth, but do your best to avoid sugar and fatty foods. Try low calorie foods for snacking – carrots and other vegetables, sugarless gum, air-popped popcorn, or low-fat cottage cheese.
  • Exercise regularly and moderately. Joining an exercise group provides a healthy activity and a new routine.  Plus, the healthy lifestyle helps you see the harm in smoking.
  • Quit smoking one day at a time and think only about the part of the day you are in.  “I am not going to smoke before noon.” “I am not going to smoke before 3:00 pm.” Sometimes just do it one hour at a time. This is a lot easier than picturing quitting forever.
  • Get more sleep. Try to go to bed earlier and get more rest.
  • Think of quitting as an investment.  How much money do you save for each cigarette that you don’t smoke? At the end of the first week of your life as a non-smoker, take that money and buy something you want.
  • Change your habits. Use a different route to class, eat your meal at a different table or with different people
  • Get support from your family and friends. Ask them to help.
  • Make a list of people you can call when you get a craving, and then call them when you need to. Start with a smoking buddy and quit together. Support each other through the difficult moments and remind one another why you decided to quit. You may want to send out an e-card like the ones found at TrytoStop.org, to build your support system. Make a list of the reasons your quitting. Carry it with you and read it when your facing a craving.
  • Avoid smoky places, people who smoke, and environments that connect you with smoking.
  • Develop a plan for relieving stress: listen to relaxing music, watch a funny movie, take a hot shower, call or visit a friend.  Have a plan in place so you’ll know what to do when the stress gets to you.
  • Attend the smoking cessation program at the Health Center (x5418)  or the Quit Smoking Clinics through the American Lung Association at 1(800) 586-4827 or TrytoStop.Org, which offers a Quit Wizard complete with calculators, progress reports, tips, and suggestions to help you kick the habit.
  • Frequently remind yourself about the differences you have noticed in yourself. Your breath no longer smells like a dirty ashtray. Your teeth are beginning to lose their yellow color and look bright and clean.  Your fingers aren’t stained from tobacco. That sickly smoker’s cough is disappearing. Your senses of smell and taste are returning. Your complexion is beginning to improve. Your general attitude about yourself is better because you’re beginning to really care about yourself. Looking for information about what’s going on inside your body when you stop filling it with smoke?