Get help to quit

Different people need different resources as they try to quit smoking.

Whether for yourself, or for someone you care about, you can boost the chance of success by seeking help to create an effective quit plan.


For Fall 2018, the Berkeley Department of Public Health is offering free Quit Smoking clinics:

  • What: A FREE 8-session smoking cessation program
  • Who: ANYONE 18+ who is ready to quit smoking for good. You do not have to be a Berkeley resident.
  • When: Thursdays 9/27/18 - 11/16/18
  • Light Refreshments will be provided

More info at (510) 981-5330 or QuitNow@cityofberkeley.info


See also more detailed resources below around smoking cessation.

Get Help to Quit - Campus Resources for Students

SHIP Resources

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 

Stress Management Information

  • Resources to help you manage your overall stress from Be Well Cal

Related Topics

Get Help to Quit - 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 the Wellness Program for current programs to create or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  • Webinars on Living Well, Nutrition, and Strategies to Make Successful Lifestyle Changes
  • Be Well at Work Wellness Program Walking Group walks every MWF
  • Functional Fitness, Fitness Walking, Dancing for Fitness
  • WorkFit and Recreational Sports

See Employee Assistance for workshops on stress management and relaxation skills.

CA Smokers' Helpline and other Telephone Support 

California Smokers' Helpline
(1-800-NO-BUTTS)
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
(1-877-44U-QUIT) 
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.

Local Classes and Support Groups

City of Berkeley's Freedom from Tobacco Programs
The CIty of Berkeley offers this free, 8 session program on a regular schedule. The location is identified when you register. For information on the next program, call (510) 981-5330 or email QuitNow@cityofberkeley.info

UCSF's Tobacco Treatment 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. Live chat also available online.
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 and Free Apps

Quitnet
QuitNet is an 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.

Smokefree.gov
Smokefree.gov 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
  • quitSTART App - free apps to help get you through the hard times and keep you motivated to quit smoking and stay smokefree.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

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, consider making an appointment with your medical provide 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:

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy information from MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Help Someone Else Quit 

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.

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.  Learn more about the dangers of secondhand smoke from the American Cancer Society.

Managing When You Aren't Ready to Quit

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 a tobacco-free environment contributes 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.

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.

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.

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 Be Well at Cal 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: Employee Assistance for help with stress management.

To maximize your success with the quitting process, consider making an appointment with your medical provide 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:

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy information from MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).