Resources available to quit smoking

With the implementation of the Smoke-free Campus Act, smoking will not be permitted on NIU campus property, including buildings, grounds, parking lots, and vehicles that are owned or operated by the university. However, there are resources available to members of the campus community who wish to quit smoking.

The Illinois Tobacco Quitline is a free telephone service that provides cessation counseling and information daily from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. In addition, the Quitline offers web-based services including general information, response to information requests about tobacco cessation, online interactive counseling, and email referrals. Nicotine replacement therapy is available for those who qualify, offering up to 6 weeks of free NRT patches.

For more information about the Quitline, please call 1-866-QUIT-YES (1-866-784-8937) or contact the DeKalb County Health Department at 815-748-2435.

Locally, KishHealth System offers Courage to Quit classes developed by the Respiratory Health Association. Courage to Quit is a comprehensive group tobacco treatment program for adults; classes cover addiction and withdrawal, managing cravings, avoiding triggers and health benefits of being smoke-free. Classes require a $25 payment, and the payment is refundable as long as all sessions are attended. The next Courage to Quit class begins at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 13, at the Kish Hospital Roberts Conference Center. Register online at kishhealth.org or contact the community wellness coordinator at 815-748-8962.

The NIU Employee Assistance Program provides consultation on smoking cessation to NIU faculty and staff, with referrals to community resources, and to smoking cessation programs covered by their health plans. The NIU EAP can be reached at 815-753-9191, and is located at the Holmes Student Center, 709.

Students seeking to quit smoking may need some assistance to do so. As such, there are a variety of options available on-campus to assist students with smoking cessation. Health Enhancement offers “Quit Kits” and Extreme Air, an individualized two-session coaching program. Health Enhancement can be reached at 815-753-9755.

The process of quitting smoking can be stressful. With this in mind, the Counseling & Student Development Center offers Stress Management groups, Mindful Meditation, and individualized counseling sessions. For more information about the drop-in programs at the Counseling & Student Development Center or to schedule an appointment, call 815-753-1206.

Students seeking to quit smoking may do so for health related reasons. To help students identify steps for a healthy lifestyle, Health Services offers individual appointments for students. To schedule an appointment with a medical provider at Health Services, call 815-753-1311. Smokers often worry about weight gain during the quitting process. Campus Recreation offers nutrition education and a variety of fitness options to support quitting and staying quit. Call 815-753-0231 for more information.

The Illinois General Assembly passed and Governor Pat Quinn signed into law Public Act 098-0985 on August 18, 2014. The Act prohibits smoking on the property on state-supported institutions of higher education beginning July 1, 2015.

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