Tobacco Cessation

Tobacco is a legal, toxic and inexpensive substance that is more addicting than many illegal substances like heroin or cocaine.  We know that most people who use tobacco want to quit but quitting is never easy and may take several attempts. Quitters don’t plan to fail, but they can fail to plan.  Users can be taught why and how to quit. The decision to become a non-tobacco user requires a process and rarely do people quit alone successfully.   Habits formed early in life do have a tendency to last forever or for a very long time. Quitting is possible.  There are more former smokers than there are current users.

If you are 15 years or older and you smoke or chew and want to quit, call the Colorado QUITLINE (1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669)) or visit QUITNET at .  QUITLINE is a toll-free telephone counseling service that connects people who want to quit with trained coaches who guide and support them with a customized quit plan. Free nicotine patches, up to an 8-week supply and close to a $200 value, are available to those 18 years and over who commit to the program. QUITNET is an internet-based free service that provides advice on quitting strategies and info about helpful pharmaceutical products.  The website reinforces quitting through the Q-Gadget which tracks life expectancy gained and money saved.

Image Image

The Nicotine Patch

Any tobacco user can receive up to eight weeks of the patch free by simply calling the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).  With the help of the experienced quit coaches at the QuitLine and the patches, users are seven times more likely to quit than by trying to quit on their own.  The patch is one of the most commonly used nicotine replacement therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is applied directly to the skin once a day and provides a steady dose of nicotine over a 16-24 hour period, without any of the cancer-causing ingredients found in cigarettes or chew.  The nicotine is absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, maintaining an even level of nicotine.  Over the quitting period, the strength of the patches is reduced until a person no longer needs to rely on the patch at all.

The Colorado Quitline is under contract to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and is funded by the 2004 voter-approved tobacco tax.  This service is free and available to English and Spanish-speaking Colorado residents.  It is also available for the deaf and hard-of-hearing at TTY: 800-659-2656.  The Quitline coaches are available Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; on Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and on Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Quitline Registrations 

   Moffat Routt
 19 18
 2005  59  39
 January 2006
 42 22
 February 2006
 14  5
 March 2006
 19  7
 April 2006
 17  7
 May 2006
 19  7
 June 2006
 11  14
 July 2006
 19  9
 August 2006
 9  5
 September 2006
 17  5
 October 2006
 25  14
 November 2006
 30  31
 December 2006
 13  15
 Total  235 141
*Four-fold increase over 2005     

Additional Aids to Assist With Quitting

Nicotine Therapy - Gum, Nasal Spray, Inhaler, Lozenge (Commit)

Non-nicotine Therapy - Bupropion Hydrochloride (Zyban),Varenicline (Chantix)

Second Line (not FDA approved) - Clonidine; Nortriptyline

Chantix:  Developed by Pfizer and approved by the FDA in May 2006, Chantix (varenicline tablets) works by blocking the receptors in the brain that trigger nicotine cravings.  It is neither a nicotine replacement therapy nor does it actively reduce dopamine reuptake.  The study results show:
22% -- smoking abstinence rate after 1 year of patients given Varenicline (1 in 5)
16% -- smoking abstinence rate after 1 year of patients given Zyban (approx. 1 in 6)
8% --- smoking abstinence rate after 1 year of patients given a placebo
One mg tablets are taken twice a day orally for 12 weeks.  Side effects may include nausea, changes in dreams, constipation, gas and vomiting although those can be diminished with spacing of dose. As you know, in smoking nicotine reaches the brain within seconds and binds to nicotine receptors.  This activates the reward pathway of brain circuitry.  The initial reaction or “buzz” recedes and then the cycle of craving and withdrawal.  This drug has not been studied in pregnant or nursing women and is therefore not recommended at this point

Behavioral Stages of Change

  • Pre-contemplation: not ready
  • Contemplation: maybe
  • Preparation: intend to change
  • Action: actual attempts
  • Maintenance: sustain change
  • Relapse:  ugh, slips…


Quit Tips

  • Nibble on low-calorie snacks.  The average weight gain is only 5 pounds.
  • Chew gum. Drink lots of water.  Exercise.
  • Stretch out your meals---eat slowly and pause between bites.
  • Suck on hard candy and sip a favorite beverage.
  • Take deep breaths.
  • Learn new skills or behaviors.
  • Get support and encouragement from friends and family.
  • Seek medication and use it correctly.
  • Be prepared for relapse situations.


Benefits to Quitting

  • 8 hours - oxygen levels in the blood return to normal 
  • 24 hours - carbon monoxide eliminated from the body
  • 48 hours - nicotine is no longer detectable in the body - Taste and smell is improved
  • 3-9 months - breathing problems improve
  • 1year - chance of a heart attack is cut in half
  • 5 years - the risk of stroke falls to that of a non-smoker
  • 10 years - the risk of dying from lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker
  • 15 years - the risk of coronary disease and death essentially become similar to those who have never smoked

 If you don’t smoke, don’t start.

If you do smoke, quit! 


Calendar of Events

January 1 – New Year’s Resolution to QUIT

January 18 – “Health Effects of Smoking Among Women” presented by CO Women and Tobacco Coalition, 1-866-427-0084 (pass code*2421326*)

February 18-24 – Through with Chew Week

April 13 – Kick Butts Day

May 8 – Mother’s Day/Women as Smokers

May 31 – World No Tobacco Day

Late October – Red Ribbon Week

November 18 – Great American Smoke Out

December – Quit Kits available as Stocking Stuffers


New Trends

Hookah or water pipe smoking has become increasingly popular among in colleges and shopping malls.  Customers can smoke a variety of fruit flavors in sessions that last 45-60 minutes for the cost of about $15. One session is similar to chain smoking 15 cigarettes.  A recent study showed hookah smoke produces nearly 100 times more “tar” than cigarette smoke and contains significantly higher quantities of toxic heavy metals, including a high concentration of carbon monoxide.

Tobacco regulation is high on new Congress' agenda (S. 666 and H.R. 1376).  When the newly elected Democratic Congress convenes next year it is likely to take up a controversial issue: proposed federal regulation of tobacco products, including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco by the US Food and Drug Admin.  Lawmakers will also have to grapple with the increasing number of tobacco-free nicotine-based products.  The rise in nicotine alternatives comes as more places go smoke-free and because consumers are looking for safer alternatives.

Westin Hotels Industry Goes Cold Turkey on Smoking.  This affected 8% of business but they took the bold step and experienced a gain in business.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health revealed that from 1998 through 2004 the manufacturers increased the amount of addictive nicotine delivered to the average smoker by 10 percent.   The three most popular brands chosen by young smokers — Marlboro, Newport  and Camel — all delivered significantly more nicotine as the years passed.

A recent study in New Zealand encourages smoking ban in cars.  On a very smoggy day particulate level is 35-40 micrograms per cubic yard.  Smoking in a car with a window down:  199 micrograms per cubic yard.  Smoking with windows up:  2926 micrograms per cubic yard!  That is one person every 72 seconds! 1200 Americans die every day from tobacco use and exposure to SHS.

Tobacco companies spend $28 to market products for every $1 states spend on tobacco prevention:  Tobacco companies spend more on marketing in a single day than 47 states and DC spend on prevention in an entire year!  Funding tobacco prevention programs is one of the smartest and most fiscally responsible investments policy makers can make.

A nicotine vaccine could be a reality.  A vaccine would block the uptake of nicotine, preventing addiction altogether.  Nicotine typically binds to neuronal receptors in the brain, replacing acetylcholine and activating the dopaminergic or pleasure center of the brain.

The nation’s two leading cigarette manufacturers---Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynolds---recently announced plans to test market new, smokeless tobacco products.  But Reynolds American has also recently started selling a "spitless" tobacco called Camel Snus in at least two markets. The nation's largest cigarette company, Philip Morris USA, has also said it will test a smokeless, spitless tobacco product called Taboka.  Lorillard Tobacco Co., owned by Loews Corp., will develop and sell smokeless tobacco products in the US with Swedish Match.  Swedish Match already sells Timberwolf, Longhorn and Red Man chewing tobacco.  This is yet another US  US Smokeless affirms that the smokeless market is on the rise with 4-6% growth in the last year.  The smokeless market is currently “robust” and growth is expected to continue as secondhand smoke regulations continue to affect tobacco smokers. cigarette company to enter the smokeless tobacco market.

There has been a decline in spending in state tobacco-control programs across the nation.   Along with Maine, Delaware and Mississippi, Colorado is only one of four states in the nation to fund tobacco prevention programs at a level recommended by the CDC.

The CDC reports that progress in reducing adult smoking nationwide may have stalled after several years of slow but steady declines.  The CDC reported that 20.9 percent of U.S. adults smoked in 2005, the same rate as in 2004.  This is the first time the adult smoking rate has not declined since 1997, when it was 24.7 percent.  These results mirror a similar stall in youth smoking declines found by recent surveys.  The CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey released in June found that 23 percent of high school students smoked in 2005, up from 21.9 percent in 2003 and a worrisome turnaround after a 40 percent decline between 1997 and 2003.

Across the country and worldwide citizens are in favor of strong health protections and common sense tobacco control policies.  These laws and restrictions are a win-win situation for health and business.   The most populous cities that are smoke free include Houston, NYC, LA, Philadelphia, San Diego and San Jose. Fourteen states have smoke free ordinances and restrictions:  CA, CO, CT., DE, HA, ME, MA, MO, NJ, NY, RI, UT, VT, WA.  Arizona, Ohio, and Nevada passed restrictions and won big at the ballet box with recent elections.  Worldwide, smoke free countries include England, Scotland, Bermuda, Bhutan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Uruguay, Uganda, Malta, Sweden. Even France instituted some restrictions that will go into effect in 2008.  Countries with total bans on tobacco advertising and marketing include Botswana, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Mongolia, Niger, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand and Tonga.

Helpful Website

For more information on Tobacco Prevention and Education CLICK HERE
SEO by Artio

Home | Community Health Programs | Home Health | Hospice | News | Aging Well | Employment | Contact
© 2003 Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association
site maintained by Momentum Design & Development