The University of Iowa is committed to providing a healthy and supportive environment for faculty, staff and students. Smoking is a significant health risk in America today – both for smokers and non-smokers alike. There are many benefits to quitting smoking, both from a personal health perspective and a financial standpoint. To calculate your personal savings if you quit smoking, see the Quitline Iowa website.
Smoking Cessation Services
Smoking is a challenging behavior to change. Individuals who smoke and wish to quit may need some additional help and support. The following resources are available to students, faculty, and staff.
Services for Students
Student Health & Wellness offers a variety of resources to help students quit tobacco use. Free one-on-one consultations are available for students to receive information on quit aids, overcoming barriers, behavior modification, and relapse. Physicians are also available to discuss medications and provide prescriptions. For more information, see the Student Health & Wellness website.
Services for Faculty and Staff
The liveWELLliveWELL program in UI Wellness and UI Benefits
Free one-on-one Health Coach service to assist in tobacco cessation and other lifestyle improvement areas. When working in conjunction with a health coach, UI employees can receive reimbursement for receipts totaling up to $500 for Nicotine Replacement Therapy or other smoking cessation medications.
The first step to getting started with a health coach is to take the liveWELL Personal Health Assessment from your Self Service website. For further information on the liveWELL program, visit hr.uiowa.edu/livewell/ or call 353-2973.
Quitline Iowa – 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
Free phone-based cessation counseling for all Iowans, available 24/7 except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Independence Day holidays.
Cancer Information Service – 1-800-237-1225 or 356-3000. Free information, resources, and brochures.
Health Benefits of Quitting
Source: American Lung Association
At 20 minutes after quitting
- blood pressure decreases
- pulse rate drops
- body temperature of hands and feet increases
At 8 hours
- carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
- oxygen level in blood increases to normal
At 24 hours:
- chance of a heart attack decreases
At 48 hours
- nerve endings start regrowing
- ability to smell and taste is enhanced
At 2 weeks to 3 months:
- circulation improves
- walking becomes easier
- lung function increases
1 to 9 months:
- coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath decreases
- excess risk of coronary heart disease is decreased to half that of a smoker
At 5 years
- from 5 to 15 years after quitting, stroke risk is reduced to that of people who have never smoked.
At 10 years:
- risk of lung cancer drops to as little as one-half that of continuing smokers
- risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases
- risk of ulcer decreases
At 15 years:
- risk of coronary heart disease is now similar to that of people who have never smoked
- risk of death returns to nearly the level of people who have never smoked