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Smoking Cessation Group FAQ

Is it worth quitting?
How do I get ready to quit?
What are the withdrawal symptoms?
What about those first few weeks?
I'm worried about gaining weight. What can I do?
What if I slip up?
What are the different methods for quitting?

Is it worth quitting?
If you're having trouble getting motivated, think about these benefits:

Within 20 minutes of last cigarette:

  • Blood pressure drops to normal
  • Pulse rate drops to normal
  • Body temperature of hands and feet increase to normal

8 Hours after last cigarette:

  • Carbon monoxide levels in blood drop to normal
  • Oxygen level in blood increases to normal

24 Hours after last cigarette:

  • Chance of heart attack decreases

48 Hours after last cigarette:

  • Nerve endings start re-growing
  • Ability to smell and to taste things enhances

72 Hours after last cigarette:

  • Bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier
  • Lung capacity increases

How do I get ready to quit?

  • Come to the Student Health Center’s “Kicking Butts” Smoking Cessation Group!
  • Know why you are quitting. Make a list of pros and cons.
  • Tell friends who you know will be supportive.
  • Know your smoking patterns and make changes.
  • Recruit a friend to quit at the same time.
  • Use the resources and links we've provided for support.
  • Get rid of any tobacco products in your room or apartment.
  • Create an exercise routine to utilize whenever you feel an urge to smoke.
  • Have low calorie snacks available.
  • Put all the money you would have used on cigarettes into a jar then count it up after a week or month and see how much you have saved!

What are the withdrawal symptoms?

  • Tobacco craving lasts a maximum of 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Irritability, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating are common.
  • Possibly increased appetite. Small amount of weight gain (under 5lbs) is possible.
  • Fatigue and dizziness may occur.
Symptoms are most intense during the first 3 to 4 days. Within 20 days, the average number of symptoms drops to just 1.

What about those first few weeks?
Here are some things to keep in mind that will make quitting easier:

  • Focus on the present. Deal with one urge at a time.
  • Drink plenty of water. It will flush the nicotine out of your system and help you feel better – plus you’ll be well hydrated!
  • Don't drink alcohol for 3 weeks. It affects your judgment so you're more likely to smoke without thinking about it.
  • Get plenty of sleep. You'll feel better and can keep up the motivation to quit.

I'm worried about gaining weight. What can I do?
Fear of weight gain prevents many people from quitting smoking. Nicotine suppresses normal appetite signals, but you can re-learn how to eat. Learn to "listen" to your body's signals of true hunger and fullness:

  • Try not to go longer than 2 to 4 hours without a meal or snack. This prevents you from getting too hungry.
  • Throughout the day, eat smaller, more frequent meals and snacks.
  • Eating breakfast is critical to stabilize brain chemistry and prevent late-day carbohydrate cravings.
  • Listen to your body – respond to your cravings if you have them, but with small portions.
  • Cravings gradually diminish as eating patterns normalize.
  • Regular, moderate exercise is very helpful in this process.

What if I slip up?
It's normal for some people to slip or relapse, so don't assume that it means you can't succeed. These questions can help you learn from a slip.

  • Were you well prepared to quit?
  • In what situation did you begin to use tobacco again?
  • Who were you with when you slipped?
  • What could you have changed in the situation to avoid that cigarette?
  • What are some healthy ways that you can deal with stress without smoking?

What are the different methods for quitting?

  • Behavior modification: this can be achieved by joining “Kicking Butts!” the Student Health Center smoking cessation group.
  • Cold Turkey: stop smoking all at once.
  • Clock Method: increase the amount of time between each cigarette.
  • Slow Withdrawal Method: taper/decrease the number of cigarettes smoked each day and/or change brands to gradually lower nicotine varieties.