Smoking Cessation


Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. The American Cancer Society can tell you about the steps you can take to quit smoking and provide quit-smoking programs, resources and support that can increase your chances of quitting successfully.

To learn about the available tools, call the American Cancer Society at  1-800-227-2345. You can also find free tips and tools HERE.

Call it quits using free expert support, and double your chances of quitting for good

QuitlineNC: provides free cessation services to any North Carolina resident who needs help quitting tobacco use. Quit Coaching is available in different forms, which can be used separately or together, to help any tobacco user give up tobacco.

Want to share your story of how you plan to quit or how you have quit? Inspire others during The Great American Smokeout, and every day! Contact Seth Maid or 1-800-451-9682 if you are interested in participating!

Start your stop smoking plan with START

S = Set a quit date.

Choose a date within the next 2 weeks, so you have enough time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit. If you mainly smoke at work, quit on the weekend, so you have a few days to adjust to the change.

T = Tell family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit.

Let your friends and family in on your plan to quit smoking and tell them you need their support and encouragement to stop. Look for a quit buddy who wants to stop smoking as well. You can help each other get through the rough times.

A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you’ll face while quitting.

Most people who begin smoking again do so within the first 3 months. You can help yourself make it through by preparing ahead for common challenges, such as nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings.

R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work.

Throw away all of your cigarettes (no emergency pack!), lighters, ashtrays, and matches. Wash your clothes and freshen up anything that smells like smoke. Shampoo your car, clean your drapes and carpet, and steam your furniture.

T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.

Your doctor can prescribe medication to help with withdrawal and suggest other alternatives. If you can’t see a doctor, you can get many products over the counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store, including the nicotine patch, nicotine lozenges, and nicotine gum.

Did you Know That:

  1. Smoking causes approximately 443,000 premature deaths, accounts for up to 30% of cancer deaths, and is the single most preventable cause of disease and death in the United States?
  2. Despite the adverse health effects of smoking cigarettes, one in five U.S. adults (46.6 million men and women) currently smoke?
  3. The prevalence of adult smoking is not decreasing. Effective population-based strategies to encourage cessation (e.g., tobacco taxes, smoke-free policies, and media campaigns) are essential to accelerate the reduction in tobacco use among adults in the United States and prevent smoking initiation in young persons?
  4. Effective cessation methods should be made available to increase success rates when tobacco users make quit attempts?

Additional information is available at and

*Key Points from Vital Signs: Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Aged Older Than 18 Years – – – United States, 2009 – released on September 10, 2010

The Toll of Tobacco in North Carolina

Updated June 20, 2013

High school students who smoke 15.5% (81,000)
Male high school students who use smokeless or spit tobacco 10.7% (females use much lower)
Kids (under 18) who become new daily smokers each year 9,900
Kids exposed to secondhand smoke at home 416,000
Packs of cigarettes bought or smoked by kids each year 20.4 million
Adults in North Carolina who smoke* 21.8% (1,606,400)

*Due to changes in CDC’s methodology, the 2011 adult smoking rate cannot be compared to adult smoking data from previous years.

U.S. National Data (2011)

High school smoking rate: 18.1%
Male high school students who use smokeless tobacco: 12.8%
Adult smoking rate 19.0%

Deaths in North Carolina from Smoking

Adults who die each year from their own smoking 12,200
Kids now under 18 and alive in North Carolina who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking 193,000

Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined — and thousands more die from other tobacco-related causes — such as fires caused by smoking (more than 1,000 deaths/year nationwide) and smokeless tobacco use.

Smoking-Caused Monetary Costs in North Carolina

Annual health care costs in North Carolina directly caused by smoking $2.46 billion
Portion covered by the state Medicaid program $769 million
Residents’ state & federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures $561 per household
Smoking-caused productivity losses in North Carolina $3.50 billion

Amounts do not include health costs caused by exposure to secondhand smoke, smoking-caused fires, smokeless tobacco use, or cigar and pipe smoking. Tobacco use also imposes additional costs such as workplace productivity losses and damage to property.

Stats For NC from the CDC for 2013

Stats For NC from the CDC for 2013

In North Carolina, 20.9% of the adult population (aged 18+ years)—over 1,458,000 individuals—are current cigarette smokers. Across all states, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults ranges from 9.3% to 26.5%. North Carolina ranks 38th among the states.

% of persons aged 18 or older who were current cigarette smokers by state, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, US, 2009

Get Educated:

SAMHSA News Release March 2013:  Adults experiencing mental illness or a substance use disorder account for nearly 40 percent of all cigarettes smoked

A prospective cohort study challenging the effectiveness of population-based medical intervention for smoking cessation

A Hidden Epidemic: Tobacco Use and Mental Illness – June 2011

Smoking and Mental Illness – Breaking the Link – New England Journal of Medicine, July 2011

2010 Surgeon General’s Report – How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking – Attributable Disease

Surgeon General Releases New Report on Youth Smoking – 3/8/2012

The EX Plan is a free quit smoking program that helps you re-learn your life without cigarettes.

Real Success Stories:

Success Story 1
Success Story 2
Get more real stories – Tips from Former Smokers