A 2015 survey of UW-W students found that only 7.3% of students smoked cigarettes in the last month. However, tobacco companies are also aware of the trend and are working diligently to keep young adults using tobacco products. They are doing this by promoting other tobacco products as alternatives to cigarettes. These new products also have serious health risks.
Information on E-Cigarettes: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm172906.htm
Many e-cigarettes are marketed to be a safer option that traditional cigarettes. Although they do not produce tobacco smoke, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals. Research is still being conducted to determine the effects of e-cigarettes.
Information on Hookah: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/tobacco_industry/hookahs/
Hookah has many of the same health risks of cigarette smoking. The smoke from a hookah is at least as toxic as cigarette smoke and smokers may absorb more of the chemicals in the smoke than when smoking a cigarette. Studies show that smoke from non-tobacco hookah also contains toxic agents and increases the risk of disease.
Information on Smokeless Tobacco
Due to the lack of second hand smoke, many tobacco companies promote smokeless tobacco as fun and safe options. Despite the different route of consumption, these products also have the risk of nicotine addiction, serious health conditions, and a higher risk of oral health disease.
Clove Cigarettes http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/tobacco_industry/bidis_kreteks/
Clove cigarettes are sometimes thought to be a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes. However, they often have higher concentrations of nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide.
There is data to show that light tobacco use, or social smoking, still increases the risks of heart disease, lung cancer, cataract, and a host of other conditions. Just because a person does not consider themselves to be a smoker does not mean they are immune from the effects of smoking. It sounds pretty ridiculous if any other behavior is only done socially! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8762zEOkSo . Some light or social smokers have an easier time quitting than heavy smokers, while others find it just as challenging.
Regardless of how long a person has been using tobacco products, there are always benefits to quitting. There are many health benefits (https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0246.pdf) in addition to having more money, more free time and less worry about when you will be able to use tobacco next. However, the choice to quit use of tobacco products ultimately lies with an individual. When a person decides it is time for them to quit, there are many resources available.
Tobacco Cessation Resources:
For some people, the process of quitting tobacco use is very difficult as it is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. For this reason, multiple quit attempts are often a necessary part of becoming tobacco free. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance than can cause withdrawal symptoms when eliminated. Research suggests that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. If you are addicted to nicotine, prescription medication or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) may be very helpful for you. NRTs can come in the form of gum, lozenges, or patches. Other people benefit most from social support such as support groups, encouraging text messages, or resources with tips to help you succeed. One way to help determine what may be most helpful to you is to take a short quiz (http://www.cancer.org/healthy/toolsandcalculators/quizzes/app/smoking-habits-quiz).
For UW-W students, University Health and Counseling Services (www.uww.edu/uhcs) offers:
- Individual support and counseling with trained health care professionals
- Prescription medication to help smokers and chewing tobacco users quit
- Free or reduced cost nicotine replacement products available through the WI Quit Line
UW-W staff can contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for confidential referral to appropriate resources for tobacco cessation. The UW-W EAP may be reached at the University Health and Counseling Services (262-472-1305). Staff is encouraged to follow up with their personal health care providers for smoking cessation medication, and prescriptions for insurance coverage of nicotine replacement therapy products (patches, gum, lozenges, etc). They are also encouraged to check with their health insurance plan to see if there are any additional resources to facilitate smoking cessation.
Other Tobacco Cessation Support:
Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line
The Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line offers free, 24/7 confidential, non-judgmental coaching and information about how to quit tobacco. Quit coaches help each caller develop an individualized quit plan. Call 1.800.QUIT.NOW or visit http://www.ctri.wisc.edu/quitline.htm
Tobacco Free U
Offers information about the various types of tobacco that there are and how to help a friend or family member quit using tobacco, how to develop a plan to quit using tobacco, and descriptions of various medications that can help with quitting. Visit http://www.tobaccofreeu.org/
Become an Ex
The EX Plan is a free cigarette quit smoking program based on scientific research and practical advice from ex-smokers. It isn't just about quitting smoking. It's about "re-learning life without cigarettes": This site offers information about how to re-learn how to live a cigarette free life. It uses a three step process, re-learning habit, re-learning addiction, and re-learning support. Through these three steps, users can get extra help from the Ex Community. Visit http://www.becomeanex.org/
Freedom from Smoking® Online Program
Freedom From Smoking® Online, is a program specifically designed for adults, like you, who want to quit smoking. This website sets users up in support groups of 8-10 people for 8 sessions. The sessions focus on providing information about nicotine and replacement therapy techniques because no one program is effective with every person. Visit http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/how-to-quit/freedom-from-smoking/
Smokeless Tobacco Cessation:
My Last Dip
This site is for smokeless tobacco users. Users need a username and password to become "members" of the site. The site itself is a web-based research project website used to evaluate ways to help people quit using smokeless tobacco. When a user goes to the site, there are daily polls asking various questions about smokeless tobacco use. Visit http://mylastdip.com/
Kill the Can
This site is dedicated to helping people QUIT dip, smokeless & chewing tobacco. This site offers an online community of people dedicated to quitting smokeless tobacco and to supporting each other's struggles with a powerful and persistent addiction. Visit http://www.killthecan.org/
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
This site is intended to help you make your own plan for quitting by offering information about the dangers of smokeless tobacco, understanding addiction, myths and truths about smokeless tobacco, and ways to develop a quit plan as well as struggles tobacco users go through as the cessation process progresses. Visit http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/SmokelessTobacco/SmokelessTobaccoAGuideforQuitting.htm