Smoking, E-cigarette, Other Tobacco Cessation Information & Resources

Are you considering quitting smoking tobacco, e-cigarettes, or any other form of tobacco?  There is little dispute that quitting will improve your health. What is less often discussed is that it is not uncommon to feel anxious, stressed, and/or overwhelmed when thinking about or initiating quitting. 

Congratulations on considering quitting and exploring resources! We offer you our support!

 Along with improving your health, reasons to think about quitting. You will:

  • live longer by quitting, life expectancy returns to that of a non-smoker
  • save money! A pack-a-day smoker saves $1,500/month or $5,110/year!
  • not become addicted. Many students who smoke only socially later become addicted
  • improve your appearance. You will have whiter teeth, clearer skin, and better looking and smelling hair

There is no right or wrong way to quit. Make a plan that will work best for you! Here are some tips to consider when you are making your plan, help you when you are ready to quit and help you stay tobacco-free.

Think about and make a list of all the reasons why you smoke and why you want to quit. Carry the list around with you so you can add to it.

Set a quit date two to three weeks out and mark it on your calendar.

  • Start exercising during this time, even if it is just a two- to 30-minute walk each day. This will help prevent and reduce the stress that comes with quitting.
  • Practice breathing exercises. Close your eyes. Breathe in slowly for four counts, then hold your breath for four, and slowly breathe out for four, hold your breath for another four counts before breathing back in. As you breathe out, picture all the stress and tension leaving your body. Relax all your muscles. Do this for five minutes or until your craving passes.

Make a list of your smoking triggers and a plan for handling them. What situations make you want to have a cigarette? What are some ideas for dealing with these triggers?

Establish a plan for support when you quit. Get a friend to quit with you! Or have someone you can call or text when you are having cravings, whether it is a friend, a quitline, or a text message program for cessation.

It will be hard and you will experience withdrawal and cravings. During the first few days you may:

  • Cough more. This is a good sign, your body is getting rid of the extra mucus is produced to protect your lungs.
  • Feel a little dizzy or lightheaded. Your blood cells adjusting to finally getting enough oxygen
  • Feel slightly more depressed
  • Be a little more anxious, antsy, and jumpy
  • Experience insomnia
  • Have trouble concentrating

On your quit day:

  • Drink lots of water and juice
  • Have healthy snacks nearby like sunflower seeds, baby carrots, celery, or gum. They will give you something to distract yourself when you get cravings
  • Practice breathing exercises

Think HALT - don't let yourself get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired

Use the 4 A's:

  • Avoid certain people or places that may tempt you to smoke
  • Alter your routine. Take a different route to school, drink water instead of alcohol, or take a walk when you'd normally take a smoke break
  • Alternatives to cigarettes such as sugarless gum, hard candy, or sunflower seeds
  • Activities to distract you and keep your hands busy like exercise, knitting, or video games

Every time you get the urge to smoke: Stop. Consider. Choose. Act.

  • Pause just long enough to feel the craving and immediately make a choice between smoking or not smoking that cigarette
  • When you make your choice, consider the costs and benefits of each choice
  • If you choose to smoke, go ahead. If you choose not to, wait until the next time you get a craving and repeat the sequence
  • This helps you develop a different and conscious response to the desire to smoke

Don't drink alcohol for three weeks.

Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your judgment, so you are more likely to smoke without thinking about it.

If you drink tea or coffee, keep on doing it.

You may find you are a little more jittery so try altering the amount you drink.

Get lots of sleep!

 If you slip up, you haven't failed! Think about why you had the cigarette, what you can change, and try again!

Smokeless Tobacco Resources

SF State and SF State Student Health Services do not endorse a specific brand or product, these are suggestions.


Small pouches of flavored coffee that are designed as a healthy alternative to tobacco. The pouches contain coffee and other energy ingredients. They can be used like chewing tobacco to help you kick your habit.


E-cigarettes are an electronic nicotine delivery device and many people claim they help to quit smoking. Like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive. Some studies, surveys, and individual testimonials have found that they may help smokers quit smoking or smoke fewer cigarettes but many of the studies have had mixed results, been inconclusive, or have found that e-cigarettes are not associated with quitting. Several studies have found that people who say that they are using e-cigarettes to quit are not quitting any more frequently than those who don't use e-cigarettes.

SF State and Smoking

SF State is a smoke free campus. 

If you are interested in quitting, the resources listed above are safe, effective and proven ways to quit smoking.

ALA Freedom From Smoking Program

Available online or in a group clinic setting. An eight-session program that walks you step-by-step to help you make a plan to quit, guides you through your quit day, and provides support for the following weeks.

California Smokers Helpline

Visit their website or call (800) NO-BUTTS. Free, confidential, phone counseling, and text message program to help you quit. If you have Medi-Cal, you may qualify for four weeks of free nicotine patches.

Information and resources to help you quit. Including:

  • Free phone apps to help you prepare to quit smoking, change your smoking behavior, and manage cravings.
  • Free text messaging six-to eight-week program (message and data rates may apply) that provides tips, encouragement, and advice to help you quit.


An online, email, and texting program. You are able to interact with the program and receive texts with tips and advice such as when you need help with cravings, information on what to do if you smoked, and status updates on your quitting process. It costs $29.99 for a four month subscription.

SF State and SF State Student Health Services do not endorse a specific brand or product, these are suggestions.

Quit It lite and Quit It 3.0 - iPhone (free and $0.99)

Motivates supports, and encourages you during your quitting process and staying quit. Keeps track of how much money you save, how many cigarettes you didn't smoke, and the benefits of quitting. Quit It 3.0 allows you to set goals throughout the process and track your progress.

Stop Smoking Cigarettes Now - iPhone (free and $3.99)

Allows you to choose how you want to quit: cold turkey, cut back until your desired quit date, or choose a quit date in the past. You can track cravings and smoking to monitor your progress. Shows you real-time stats on the money you saved, health benefits, and cigarettes not smoked. Customizes what is motivating and encouraging you to quit.

LIVESTRONG MyQuit Coach - iPhone (free)

Helps you create a personalized plan to quit smoking by evaluating your current smoking status, setting attainable goals, and adjusting preferences based on your needs. Allows you to pick if you want to quit right away or decrease your daily cigarette use. Provides personalized inspirational photos, motivational tips, progress, and charts. You can participate in its social support circle and community and get support through Facebook and Twitter.