University Health Service

Students saving money

Looking to gain control and save some money along the way?

Check out this article about Leondard Nimoy ("Live long and prosper!") or the Ellen DeGeneres' video to see what she has to say about how she quit.

U-M is a smoke-free campus, and students, faculty and staff can get support for quitting  Learn more at the Smoke-Free University Initative webpage.

As part of this initiative, students, faculty and staff can get free one-on-one cessation counseling and free nicotine replacement products.

Also, you may see our student SmokeFree Ambassadors assisting people seen smoking on campus to find a place off campus to smoke.  If you are interested in being an ambassador, contact Marsha Benz,

On this page:

There is no better time to quit:

Millions have quit smoking and you can quit, too. Given the UM Smoke-Free Initiative, there is no better time to quit, even if you've thought about quitting before, tried to quit or successfully quit in the past and started again.

Remember, if at first you don't succeed, quit, quit again! And hey, keep in mind that 86% of UM students don't smoke cigarettes, so you'll have a lot of support!

What about hookahs?

Hookah pipes (also known as narghile, shisha, and goza) originated in the Middle East and have recently become popular on many college campuses. Flavored tobacco, which often used in hookahs, is sweet and marketed toward younger people.

The tobacco is heated in a water pipe and the smoke is moved through water in the base. It's commonly assumed that hookah pipes are safer than cigarettes because the smoke is "filtered" through water. In reality, the water only cools the smoke; it does not filter it.

The tobacco inhaled is similar to smoking an unfiltered cigarette. It has the same cancer-causing substances and is as addictive.

Also, smoking hookah pipes may cause more lung damage than cigarettes because hookah smokers tend to inhale much more smoke than cigarette smokers during a typical smoking session, exposing users to higher levels of nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other carcinogens found in tobacco. In fact, an hour spent smoking a hookah delivers as much carbon monoxide to the user as smoking a pack of cigarettes.

Want more? See the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Fact Sheet on hookah and health effects.

Physical benefits of quitting

From the American Cancer Society

20 minutes after quitting

Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

12 hours after quitting

The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting

Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

1 to 9 months after quitting

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

1 year after quitting

The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.

2-5 years after quitting

Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker.

10 years after quitting

The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.

15 years after quitting

The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

These are just a few of the benefits of quitting smoking for good. Quitting smoking lowers the risk of diabetes, lets blood vessels work better, and helps the heart and lungs. Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

Resources for quitting:

UHS resources:

Quit Kits (free information and tools to help you quit smoking) are available at UHS Wolverine Wellness, room 2110, 734-763-1320.

See Smoking Cessation Products for more on nicotine replacement.  You can get free NRT by engaging in a quit tobacco program with a Tobacco Consultation Service health educator.

Make an appointment for individual smoking cessation meetings through UM Health System Tobacco Consultation Service -- it's free of charge! Email  or call 734-998-6222 (99 T-OBAC)

Schedule an Appointment with a UHS clinician to discuss your health and quitting. See also Who Can Use UHS? for eligibility.

Local programs:

MHealthy Tobacco Consultation Service 
Free nicotine replacement products for students who meet one-on-one with with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist at UHS or the Traverwood location on North Campus.

Freedom from Smoking
American Lung Association

  • Free on-line program with focus on withdrawal symptoms, weight control, stress management, assertiveness and relaxation techniques
  • Group sessions for 10 or more people; fees may apply

Veterans Administration Center
Call toll-free 800-361-8387 and ask for your primary care team to help you with tobacco.
One-on-one counseling. Focus is on smoking reduction and/or cessation using nicotine replacement therapy, Zyban and Chantix. Only for veterans (free).

Smoking cessation products may help you to quit if you are addicted to nicotine. If you are not physically addicted, these products probably will not help you quit.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products: These products provide nicotine to ease withdrawal symptoms (such as nervousness, restlessness, irritability, headache, dizziness and stomach upset) until you are weaned from smoking. They don't make you quit and they don't help you cope with the psychological challenges of quitting.

As part of the Smoke-Free Initiative, UM offers free nicotine replacement products:

For U-M employees: Follow link for information

For U-M students: You can get free nicotine replacement products when you consult a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. To arrange a free consultation (or a quit-smoking program), contact Tobacco Consultation Services at or 734-998-6222. For your convenience, consultations can take place at University Health Service.

Non-prescription NRT products are:

  • Patches, applied once a day, provide a steady amount of nicotine through your skin.
  • Nicotine gum is chewed and held in your mouth throughout the day.
  • Nicotine lozenges are used throughout the day so nicotine is absorbed through your mouth.

Prescription NRT products are:

  • Nicotrol Inhaler, which has a plastic mouthpiece similar to a cigarette. Cartridges containing nicotine are placed into the mouthpiece and puffed on for up to 20 minutes.
  • Nicotrol nasal spray is absorbed through your nose and is used several times a day.

Non-nicotine products, available by prescription, can also assist in smoking cessation. Talk to a clinician if you are interested in these products:

  • Zyban (bupropion HIC) is believed to work on the brain chemistry involved in nicotine addiction and withdrawal. Zyban comes in pill form and is usually taken twice a day.
  • Chantix (verenicline tartrate) works on nicotine receptors in the brain. It is believed to decrease the reward mechanism of smoking and reduce the urge to smoke. It comes in pill form and is taken once or twice a day. It may cause serious neuropsychiatric symptoms. Before starting Chantix, tell your clinician about any history of psychiatric illness. While taking it, inform your clinician of behavior and mood changes.

Other resources:

Family and friends: Social support is probably the most valuable resource! Ask for what you need - encouragement, congratulations, company. If you know someone else who wants to quit, try a buddy system.

Michigan Department of Community Health offers online information and a Tobacco Quit Line at 800-QUIT-NOW.

National Cancer Institute  800-4-CANCER

Nicotine Anonymous  uses a 12-step approach. Free. 415-750-0328

The American Cancer Society (ACS)  sponsors the Great American Smokeout, an event that challenges smokers to quit, one day at a time, and connects people with local resources. 800-227-2345 or 877-44U-QUIT

Internet: Try using search terms such as "nicotine" or "smoking" for tobacco facts, tips for quitting and on-line support groups. Our standout favorite is