Breathe Campaign

Berkeley is tobacco-free

UC is a tobacco-free University effective January 1, 2014. University Health Services provides smoking cessation services for members of our campus community ready to quit or who need help managing smoking urges while on UC property. The single best thing you can do for your health is to stop or quit smoking and it can often take multiple attempts to be free from tobacco. We are here to help you get started today!

Not Ready to Quit?

Prepare to Quit

Are you Ready to Quit? Interactive quiz from Kaiser



Get Help to Quit

Campus Resources for Students

SHIP Resources

Smoking Cessation Benefits (pdf)


Individual Counseling Appointment If you need individual, on-going assistance with your quit plan, schedule an appointment with Social Services at (510) 642-6074.
Medical Appointment

Medical advice, medication, referrals and follow-up.
Call (510) 642-2000 or make an online medical appointment with a primary care clinician at

Stress Management Information Resources to help you manage your overall stress while quitting:
Related Topics

Campus Resources for Faculty and Staff

Health Plan Resources

UC-sponsored medical plans provide the following services:

  • Prescription nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine inhalers, sprays and medications, at no additional cost when prescribed by a physician.
  • Over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine patches and gum, when prescribed by a physician at the generic co-pay for UC Care, Health Net Blue & Gold and Western Health Advantage. Kaiser members have no copay. Under Core and the Health Savings Plan, these products will be subject to the deductible and coinsurance.
  • You can participate in behavioral modification programs to help them quit smoking, but it is not required to receive these benefits.

See Tobacco Cessation Resources by UC Medical Plan:

Prepare to Stop Smoking:

See Health*Matters schedule of current programs to build your skills for maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

  • Webinars on Living Well, Nutrition, and Strategies to Make Successful Lifestyle Changes
  • Health*Matters Walking Group walks every MWF
  • Functional Fitness, Fitness Walking, Dancing for Fitness
  • WorkFit and Recreational Sports

CARE Services for help with managing your smoking triggers and stress.  See workshops on stress management and relaxation skills.

Stress Management and Relaxation Skills CARE Services for help with stress management and classes to learn relaxation skills.


Telephone Counseling & Support

California Smokers' Helpline

California Smokers' Helpline is a telephone counseling program, offering up to seven FREE sessions of individual telephone support with trained counselors. The California Smokers' Helpline services have been proven in clinical trials to double a smoker’s chances of successfully quitting. The Helpline offers:

  • one-on-one, telephone counseling to quit smoking
  • referral to local programs and
  • self-help materials.

Services are available in six languages (English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese) and specialized services are available for teens, pregnant women, and tobacco chewers. The Helpline also provides information to friends and family members of tobacco users.

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 am to 9 pm, and Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. Voicemail and recorded messages are available 24 hours a day.

National Cancer Institute's
Smoking Quitline


The National Cancer Institute provides smoking cessation counselors to answer smoking-related questions in English or Spanish, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Calls are toll free within the United States.

The NCI QuitPal app is now available for download on iTunes!

NCI QuitPal is a free smartphone app to support smokers working to become smoke-free. This interactive app is developed using proven quit strategies and tools to help change behavior and assist you with giving up smoking.

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Local Classes and Support Groups

City of Berkeley's Freedom from Tobacco Programs

See the flyer for details on Freedom from Tobacco program.
The next FREE, 8 session class:

Mondays, Jan 25 - Mar 14, 2016 (8 sessions)
(except Mar 2 class will is on a Wednesday)
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Site location to be identified when you register.
To enroll, call (510) 981-5330 or email

UCSF's Tobacco Education Center
The Tobacco Education Center (TEC) at UCSF Medical Center offers classes as well as individual consultations with doctors trained in treating tobacco addiction.

Call (415) 885-7895

American Lung Association
Classes are held throughout the East Bay. Call to find one that meets your needs.

Call 1-800-548-8252

Nicotine Anonymous
Modeled after AA, these groups meet at many locations. Call for a recorded list of free meetings.

Call 1-877-879-6422


Online Help

QuitNet is a free online, interactive program developed by the School of Public Health at Boston University. This program blends proven scientific methods with web technology to customize a smoking cessation program for you, including:

  • tools to help you quit
  • ex-smoker to smoker support
  • timely emails and lots more
  • a directory of smoking cessation classes and
  • many helpful links and resources. was created by the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society. This comprehensive site provides an online guide as well as downloadable resources to quitting smoking, including:

  • Smokefree TXT - a free mobile service to receive 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to help you stop smoking for good
  • Smokefree Smartphone Apps - downloadable apps to help get you through the hard times and keep you motivated to quit smoking and stay smokefree.


Freedom from Smoking® Online

Freedom from Smoking® Online, from The American Lung Association's Stop Smoking Website is comprehensive online program to help you quit, accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through its Office on Smoking and Health (OSH), is the lead federal agency for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control. OSH is a division within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, which is located within CDC’s Coordinating Center for Health Promotion.

Originally established in 1965 as the National Clearinghouse for Smoking and Health, OSH is dedicated to reducing the death and disease caused by tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke by offering:

  • current tobacco-related news
  • educational materials and
  • guides to help you quit smoking.

American Cancer Society provides information about:

  • the health hazards due to smoking
  • how-to tips for quitting
  • dealing with withdrawal
  • maintenance issues once you quit and more.

The EX Plan is a free online quit smoking program, based on personal experiences from ex-smokers as well as the latest scientific research from the experts at Mayo Clinic. Find tools and information on how to:

  • create a Quit Plan
  • set a Quit Date
  • stay Smoke-Free

There is also a text messaging feature to receive text messages supporting you through your quit process.

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Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

It's a myth that kicking the habit is easy. Most smokers make several attempts at quitting before finding success. Why? It's not about willpower. It's about nicotine, a powerfully addictive drug that makes the body both physically and psychologically dependent. Smokers must overcome both of these dependencies to stay smoke-free.

To maximize your success with the quitting process, Health*Matters encourages you to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the use of complementary quitting tools to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Research has shown success rates are significantly improved when nicotine replacement products such as nicotine patches, gum, or prescription medications are coupled with a smoking cessation program.

Here is more information about some of the pharmaceutical and nicotine replacement aids available through your doctor:

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How to Help a Friend or Loved One Quit Smoking

Once a smoker has decided to quit, they are most likely to be successful when friends and family provide help and support. Whether you are also a tobacco-user and going through your own quit process, or have never smoked, you can help someone you care about who has decided to stop smoking by being part of their support team, asking how you can be most helpful and/or encouraging them through their quit process. If they aren't ready to quit yet, you can help them with identifying reasons for quitting, setting a target quit date, and offering to be part of their support network. Consider offering healthy and fun alternatives to smoking such as:

  • take walks with them
  • be a "workout buddy"
  • lend an ear if they need to talk about the challenges they are facing by not smoking

Visit the following links for advice and tips on how to help a friend or loved one quit smoking. Your support can be part of creating a healthy and successful environment for someone you care about as they become a non-smoker.

Helping a Smoker Quit: Do's and Don'ts - General Hints for Friends and Family

Help a Friend Quit Smoking with the Sklar Brothers (Video Email)

Show Some Support - send Smokefree e-cards, send a Milestone Award, tips & advice

How Can I Help My Friends and Family Quit Smoking?

Secondhand Smoke Information

When non-smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke it is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. Non-smokers who breathe in secondhand smoke take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like smokers do. The more secondhand smoke you are exposed to, the higher the level of these harmful chemicals in your body.  Click HERE to learn more about the dangers of secondhand smoke from the American Cancer Society.

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Not Ready to Quit? Manage Your Tobacco Use While on Campus

The information in this section is to assist and support tobacco users who are not ready to quit with some tips and resources to manage while on UC property and comply with campus policy. See the Tobacco-Free map for campus and City of Berkeley tobacco-free zones.

Things to consider when visiting or working/studying on campus:

  • It may be tempting to disregard the Tobacco-Free policy, but by offering a tobacco-free environment this will contribute positively to the health and well-being of all UC Berkeley students, faculty, staff and guests.
  • The policy prohibits the use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, snuff, snus, water pipes, pipes, hookahs, chew, dip, and any other tobacco product.
  • Only the use of FDA-approved cessation products are allowed. This includes the nicotine patch, gum, lozenges, inhaler, spray, or Rx cessation medications (Zyban/Chantix).
  • When on campus, please leave any tobacco products in your car or at home.
  • These items are prohibited from being used in all indoor and outdoor UC-owned spaces, including parking lots and inside personal vehicles on UC property.

If you leave campus property to smoke:

  • Limit your impact on residential area residents by keeping litter and drifting smoke away from neighboring properties. Carry a piece of aluminum foil or an “altoids mint container" with you to collect your own cigarette butt litter.
  • Avoid congregating to smoke in groups in front of residences or on business property. Keep moving and enjoy the walk.
  • At night, increase your safety by walking with a friend and avoiding poorly lit areas.
  • Keep to commonly traveled routes and know where you are going.
  • Be aware of surroundings. Keep your head up and be alert.

How to manage your smoking urges while on campus:

  • For maximum efficacy, use NRT (such as the lozenge) throughout the day. Don’t wait for a craving to arise, but plan ahead to take the edge off.
  • Make a survival kit to carry with you with items such as gum, crunchy veggies, cinnamon sticks, plastic straws and other items to chew on or twist.
  • Always have a water bottle with you. Drinking plenty of water helps flush toxins out of your system and by sipping, replaces the hand to mouth motion of smoking. When using oral nicotine products such as the gum, try not to drink anything 15 minutes before or after using it.
  • Distract yourself. Keep your hands busy and focus your mind on something else.
  • Stay away from things which tempt you to smoke. Change your routine. Walk a different path to avoid places you used to smoke.

Managing stress:

  • Go for a brisk walk. Exercise can help relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and frustration.
  • Take several deep breaths, breathing in for 5 seconds and exhaling for 5 seconds. This slows down your heart rate and can have a calming effect.
  • Take a time out. For a few minutes either daydream about something pleasant or visualize a calm peaceful place. This can help clear your mind and give you a mental break as well as relax your body.
  • Share your stress with a support person. It helps to talk with someone. Available on campus:

» For Students: Visit this site to learn more about how to manage your overall stress while quitting: If you need individual, on-going assistance with your quit plan, schedule an appointment with Social Services at (510) 642-6074.

» For Faculty and Staff: CARE Services for help with stress management.

UCB Tobacco Free Campus

Effective January 1, 2014, UC Berkeley is a Tobacco-Free Campus.


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