Tobacco - Free Toolkit

Welcome to Campus Wellbeing Service’s Tobacco Free Toolkit. Living tobacco-free is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health, quality of life and longevity.

To help you on your journey to becoming and staying tobacco-free, we have compiled a number of resources from the leading experts such as the American Cancer Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Lung Association. In addition, we have provided local and online resources for tobacco cessation that can be readily accessed.

As with our other online toolkits, we will add resources as they become available so visit us often!

Great American Smokeout

Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps in creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

Tobacco has been in the headlines quite often recently, whether about new laws that protect people from secondhand smoke, higher tobacco taxes and cigarette prices, or legislation that protects our children from tobacco and holds tobacco products to strict federal regulations. All in all, it hasn't been a good year for tobacco companies (or "big tobacco," as they are sometimes collectively called).

These recent developments – together with the long‐known fact that smoking is the leading risk for lung cancer and the wide range of tools available to help people stop smoking – mean there has never been a better time to quit. And, fewer people smoking can mean a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet 43.4 million Americans still smoke. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year. If you or someone you know needs help quitting, join thousands of people across the country in making November 15 the day you make a plan to quit for good, during the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout®.

Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. The American Cancer Society can help you quit smoking and stay well with resources and support that can increase your chances of quitting successfully. The American Cancer Society Quit For Life® Program, operated by Alere Wellbeing, links tobacco users with trained coaches who can help them make a plan to quit for good. You'll find free tips and tools for additional help online at, and the Society also offers applications on online social networks like Facebook to help you quit or join the fight against tobacco.

Every day, the American Cancer Society is working to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays – and by quitting smoking, you can take one of the most important steps toward helping make this world a reality. Smokers who quit can add up to eight years (and up to eight more birthdays) to their lives. Overall, one‐third of cancer deaths could be prevented if people avoided tobacco products.

While we have made great progress to fight tobacco, there is still much work to do. Everyone can fight back to save lives, and the Great American Smokeout is a great time to start. If you want to quit smoking or help a loved one quit, the American Cancer Society is in your corner. Together, we can save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Join us for the Great American Smokeout and make November 15 the day you plan to stay well and quit for good. For tips on quitting smoking or getting involved in the fight against tobacco, visit or call the American Cancer Society at 1‐800‐227‐2345.

Smoking Cessation Benefits for Illinois Employees
Quitting Tobacco Quiz
Help for Smokers and Other Tobacco Users
Five Keys for Quitting
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1. Get ready.
  • Set a quit date.
  • Change your environment.
    • Get rid of ALL cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and workplace.
    • Don't let people smoke in your home.
  • Review your past attempts to quit – think about what worked and what didn't.
  • Once you quit, don't smoke – NOT EVEN A PUFF!
2. Get support and encouragement.

Studies have shown that you have a better chance of being successful if you have help.

  • Tell your family, friends, and coworkers that you are going to quit and want their support. Ask them not to smoke around you, and ask them to put their cigarettes out of sight.
  • Inform your health care provider (e.g., doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, psychologist, or smoking counselor) about your decision to quit.
  • Get individual, group, or telephone counseling. Programs are given at local hospitals and health centers. Call 1‐800‐227‐2345 for information about programs in your area.
3. Learn new skills and behaviors.
  • Try to distract yourself from urges to smoke. Talk to someone, go for a walk, or get busy with a task.
  • When you first try to quit, change your routine. For example, use a different route to work.
  • Do something to reduce your stress – take a hot bath, exercise, or read a book.
  • Plan to do something enjoyable every day.
  • Drink a lot of water and other fluids.
4. Get medication and use it correctly.

Medications can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following medications to help you quit smoking:

  • Available by prescription – Bupropion SR (Zyban), Varenicline (Chantix), nicotine inhaler, nicotine nasal spray
  • Available over‐the‐counter – nicotine gum, nicotine patch, and nicotine lozenges
  • Remember to ask your health care provider for advice and carefully read the information on the package.
5. Be prepared for a relapse or difficult situations.

Most relapses occur within the first three months after quitting. Don't be discouraged if you start smoking again. Remember, most people try several times before they finally quit for good. Here are some difficult situations to watch for:

  • Alcohol – When you drink alcohol it lowers your chances of success. It’s best to avoid drinking.
  • Other smokers – When you're around people who smoke, it can make you want to smoke. It's best to avoid them.
  • Weight gain – Many smokers gain weight when they quit, usually fewer than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet and stay active. Don't let weight gain distract you from your main goal – quitting smoking. Some quit‐smoking medications may help delay weight gain.
  • Bad mood or depression – There are a lot of ways to improve your mood other than smoking. If you are having problems with any of these situations, talk to your doctor or other health care provider.
Quit Smoking Worksheet
Prenatal Quit Smoking Worksheet
Resources for Becoming Tobacco - Free

Quitting smoking is not easy, but it can be done. To have the best chance of quitting successfully, you need to know what you're up against, what your options are, and where to go for help. To get started, check out our UI Wellness Center Tobacco-Free Toolkit.

Here are some other resources to help you in your attempts to become tobacco-free (all service free unless noted):

Campus Resources (pdf):

  •  Employees:
    • Walk-in consults: Campus employees can meet with a trained cessation expert. Ask questions, learn about cessation resources, and make an action plan.
    • Quit Kits: Contact the UI Wellness Center for a free quit kit
    • Freedom from Smoking: A 7-week group cessation program offered by the UI Wellness Center.
    • Faculty/Staff Assistance Services: One-on-one counseling for employees to help cope with stress and anxiety from smoking cessation.
    • Insurance provider programs: Insurance providers offer options that include a combination of coaching and prescription or NRT therapy.
    • State Benefits: Illinois employees can receive up to a $200 rebate towards cessation program costs.
  • Students:
  • Employees and Students:
    • Nicotine Replacement Therapy Sales (NRT): Buy NRT at the Illini Union, ARC, CRCE, Ice Arena, State Farm Center, and some Housing facilities to help with cravings.

Community Resources:

Online Resources:

Helping a Smoker Quit: Do's and Dont's
From the American Cancer Society
General Hints for Friends and Family
  • Do respect that the quitter is in charge. This is his lifestyle change and his challenge, not yours.
  • Do ask the person whether he wants you to call or visit regularly to see how he is doing. Let the person know that it's OK to call you whenever he needs to hear encouraging words.
  • Do help the quitter get what he needs, such as hard candy to suck on, straws to chew on, and fresh veggies cut up and kept cold in the refrigerator.
  • Do spend time doing things with the quitter to keep his mind off smoking – go to the movies, take a walk to get past a craving (what many call a "nicotine fit"), or take a bike ride together.
  • Do help the quitter with a few chores, some child care, cooking – whatever will help lighten the stress of quitting.
  • Do celebrate along the way. Quitting smoking is a BIG DEAL!
  • Don't take the quitter's grumpiness personally during his nicotine withdrawal. The symptoms usually pass in about two weeks.
  • Don't offer advice. Just ask how you can help with the plan or program he is using.
If Your Smoker "Slips"
  • Don't assume that he will start back smoking like before. A "slip" (taking a puff or smoking a cigarette or two) is pretty common when a person is quitting.
  • Do remind the quitter how long he went without a cigarette before the slip.
  • Do help the quitter remember all the reasons he wanted to quit, and to forget about the slip as soon as possible.
  • Don't scold, nag, or make the quitter feel guilty. Be sure the quitter knows that you care about him whether he smokes.
If Your Smoker Relapses

Research shows that most people try to quit smoking five to seven times before they succeed. If a relapse happens, think of it as practice for the time he will succeed. Don't give up your efforts to encourage and support your loved one. If the person you care about fails to quit:

  • Do praise him for trying to quit and for whatever length of time (days, weeks, or months) of not smoking.
  • Do encourage him to try again. Don't say, "If you try again ..." say, "When you try again..." Studies show that most people who don't succeed in quitting are ready to try again in the near future.
  • Do encourage him to learn from the attempt. Things a person learns from a failed attempt to quit may help him be successful in a future attempt. It takes time and skills to learn to be a nonsmoker.
  • Do say, "It's normal to not succeed the first time you try to quit. Most people understand this and know that they have to try to quit again. You didn't smoke for two whole weeks this time. You got through the worst part. Now you know you can do that much. Now that you know you can get through the worst part, you can get even further next time."
If You Are A Smoker
  • Do smoke outside and always away from the quitter.
  • Do keep your cigarettes and matches out of sight – they might be triggers for your loved one to smoke.
  • Don't ever offer the quitter a smoke, even as a joke!
  • Do join your friend in his effort to quit. It's better for your health and might be easier to do with someone else who is trying to quit!