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Smoking Cessation|University of Wyoming Student Health Service

Recent studies have shown that smoking among college students has increased by 28%. The dangers of this habit have been known for many years now and include premature death from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. One of three smokers will die from a smoking related illness. In the recent past, lung cancer surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in women. Only 14% of women who get lung cancer are alive 5 years later, but 67% of women with breast cancer survive at least 10 years. Lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer death in men since the early 1960's. The reason women have "lagged" behind in lung cancer deaths is because in the early 1900's, women were not allowed to smoke. Looking at these statistics, the phrase, "We’ve come a long way baby", takes on a more ominous connotation than purely women’s liberation.

If you are a smoker, stopping smoking will greatly benefit your health. Some of these benefits occur immediately such as decrease in blood pressure and pulse and some take a while longer. For instance, within 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting, a smoker’s lung function increases up to 30%. After a year of not smoking, the risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker and by 10 years, the lung cancer death rates have dropped to that of a nonsmoker.

Nicotine is a very addictive substance so stopping smoking can be challenging. Fortunately, there are smoking cessation aids available that will increase your chances of stopping smoking successfully. Nicotine gum, nicotine patches and nicotine inhalers are available. By themselves, these products are only modestly effective at stopping smoking long term. The patches and gum are available over the counter which makes them a convenient method to use. A new medication, Zyban, is available by prescription and has a somewhat better chance of producing long term smoking cessation, especially if used in conjunction with the nicotine patch. Approximately twice as many smokers will have long term success with Zyban compared to quitting "cold turkey". To see if you would be a candidate for Zyban, you should see a health care provider.

Stopping smoking requires motivation and support. There are many pamphlets, booklets and manuals available to help you with your smoking cessation efforts. These are usually free of charge and are available through the organizations listed below. You can also make an appointment to see one of the health care providers at Student Health Services for further information.

Smoking Cessation Resources

American Cancer Society
1599 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Phone: (800) ACS-2345

National Cancer Institute
NIH Bldg. 31, Room 10A24
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: (800) 4-CANCER

American Heart Association
7272 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75231
Phone: (800) AHA-USA1

American Lung Association
1740 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (800) LUNG-USA

Office of Smoking and Health
US Department of Health and Human Services
Oaklawn Building, Room 110
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
Phone: (301) 443-1575

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
P.O. Box 2345
Rockville, MD 20847-2345
Phone: (800) 729-6686

Nicotine Anonymous
P.O. Box 591777
San Francisco, CA 94159-1777
Phone: (415) 750-0328
E-mail: Info@nicotine-anonymous.org

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