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Yes, I use tobacco, and I want to quit.

Quitting can be hard. You may have already tried to quit before. But you can double your chances of quitting for good by reaching out to QuitlineNC or for help from a Quit Coach. QuitlineNC is free of charge and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1-800-Quit-Now or 1-800-784-8669. Or sign-up online.

Did you know that your campus health service may offer classes or counseling on ways to quit?

Campus healthcare providers can sometimes provide free or reduced-cost nicotine replacement therapies to help you in quitting.

Yes, I use tobacco, but I don’t smoke all the time.

Did you know social (intermittent) smokers light up regularly but not daily? They only have a cigarette when they go out with friends. They think, "I will smoke a little in social situations and quit later." 

Truth is, there is really no safe amount of smoking. Social smoking is smoking. Social smoking any amount often leads to regular smoking and nicotine addiction. Many intermittent smokers go on to become daily smokers. 

Social smokers can get sick from smoking. If you smoke at all you are at an increased risk for cancer and heart disease. The 2010 Surgeon General’s Report concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful. 

You don’t have to be a heavy smoker or a long-time smoker to get a smoking-related disease or have a heart attack or asthma attack triggered by tobacco smoke. Low levels of smoke exposure, including breathing secondhand tobacco smoke, rapidly increase inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels, which can cause heart attacks and stroke. Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and compounds. Hundreds are toxic and more than 70 cause cancer. Tobacco smoke itself is known to cause cancer in humans. Therefore, there is no safe amount of smoking. Do your health a favor and quit.

Yes, sometimes people smoke around me.

If people smoke around you, you are being exposed to secondhand smoke coming from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar. Secondhand smoke is not safe and can cause disease. Even low levels can harm your health. 

What can I do to protect myself and my friends?

• Make your home and car smoke-free zones. No one should ever smoke inside your home or car.

• Protect your health and the health of your friends – avoid places where smoking is allowed.

FACT: There is hardly a part of the human body that's not affected by the chemicals in tobacco smoke.
The bottom line: choose not to smoke and do not allow anyone to smoke around you. 

NCDHHS, Division of Public Health
North Carolina Public Health