The University of Florida has taken a strong stand against the use of tobacco products on campus-UF is now 100% tobacco free! Explore below to learn about why tobacco is not good for your health, the different types of tobacco and how to quit using tobacco!
- Cigars contain large, dried and cured bundles of tobacco and contain cancer-causing chemicals.
- Because cigars are allowed to have flavors, it can hide the harshness of tobacco.
- All cigarettes, or tobacco wrapped in paper, are the most widely used form of tobacco in the US.
- According to the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health,70 out of the 7,0000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke are known to specifically cause cancer.
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, heats up a cartridge of liquid nicotine and gives smokers a mist of nicotine that they puff.
Although the tar and tobacco usually found in cigarettes is missing, nicotine is still addictive and has its own health risks.
E-cigarettes themselves are not FDA approved, meaning less quality control and the possibility of inhaling toxic nicotine.
While research is still limited, a recent study has also shown that even a five-minute e-cigarette session restricts lung function.
Do E-cigarettes help people quit? You be the judge...
- With flavored tobacco, hookah smoking feels smoother and easier to inhale than cigarette smoke. A hookah typically has a “head, a metal body, a water bowl and a flexible hose with a mouthpiece” and draws smoke through the water bowl.
- However, one single hookah session has 1.7 times the nicotine, 8.4 times the carbon monoxide and 36 times the tar compared to a cigarette, which is why hookah smoke is typically darker.
- Think of it like this: After a 45-minute session, you would have 25 two-liter bottles of hookah smoke. After a cigarette, you would have a quarter of one two-liter bottle of smoke.
- Smokeless tobacco differs from other products because it isn’t burned. BeTobaccoFree.gov lists some of the forms of smokeless tobacco as:
- Chewing tobacco
- Snuff-tobacco that can be sniffed through the nostril
- Dip-moist snuff used like chewing tobacco
- Snus-a small pouch of moist snuff
- Dissolvable products (including lozenges, orbs, sticks and strips)
- The myth that smokeless tobacco is safer than smoking is far from true.
- Smokeless tobacco has 28 cancer-causing agents. Because of how it is ingested (you can accidentally swallow bits of it), smokeless tobacco can cause cancer in the mouth, tongue, throat and stomach. And due to higher nicotine levels, it is more addicting than cigarettes.
- Use is also associated with leukoplakia (precancerous soft, white patches on the mouth), receding gums, tooth decay and reduced or abnormal sperm counts.
To increase your chances of successfully quitting, you need to find what works for you. There are many great (and FREE!) tools available to help students.
- UF Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program: Provides in-person group coaching and NRT service call (352) 265-9569
- UF Student Health Care Center: Can provide prescribed medications that can be helpful with quitting (Chantix and Wellbutrin)
- Florida Quit Line: Offers 24/7 support, tips, and information with a toll-free call to 1-877-U-CAN-NOW
Online Support and Interactive Tools
- Become an Ex: EX is a whole new way to think about quitting smoking - it's about re-learning life without cigarettes. The site offers a 3 step plan and community forum to help you tackle triggers and reach out for support.
- Smokefree.gov: Offers a step-by-step quit guide, expert help by instant messaging or phone, and even phone apps and texting options to help you quit.
Online support and interactive tools
- The American Cancer Society: compiled a list of great tips that break down the importance of quitting, how to get through the holidays and what to do when you get “the crazies.”
- Become an EX: a whole new way to think about quitting smoking; it’s relearning life without cigarettes. The site offers a three-step plan and community forum to help you tackle triggers and reach out for support.
- Smokefree.gov: offers a step-by-step quit guide and expert help by instant messaging or phone. There are even phone apps and texting options to help you quit.
The Quit Program offers phone coaching as an option for students that are not located in Gainesville. Contact a GatorWell Quit Coach or call at 352-273-4450.
Florida Quit Line: offers 24/7 support, tips and information with a toll-free call to 1-877-U-CAN-NOW. There is also an online program that includes a tobacco cost calculator.