The Wellness Resource Center

Alcohol/Drug Ed


Alcohol/Drug Ed > Tobacco

Most RAMS don't smoke. Most smokers want to quit. We can help- keep reading! (The Well's health survey, Spring 2016, n=856)

Within the last 30 days, how often do you think the typical student at your school used cigarettes? 


VCU students think that most other Rams smoke cigarettes at least one or more days per month. 

Within the last 30 days, on how many days did you use cigarettes?


72% of Rams have never used cigarettes, and 16% have used but not within the last 30 days. 

We love smokers! Its our job to keep them on the planet longer.

We have a bumper sicker in our office that reads:

Remember, smoking doesn't kill people.
People who are quitting smoking kill people.

Quitting is hard. It’s our job to make it easier. The nicotine in products like cigarettes, e-cigs, cigars and smokeless tobacco is a big reason why quitting is challenging. Little exposures to nicotine get linked to countless things in the environment and our daily habits. 

Over the years students have taught us a lot about quitting strategies that work in college. Knowledge is power. So even if you aren’t ready to make a quit attempt yet, be courageous and reach out now.

Frequently Asked Questions: Quitting Nicotine at VCU

Who can help me quit?

VCU students can get FREE QUIT Kits at either The Well or Student Health Services. The clinic at Student Health Services is the best place to start because you can quickly make an appointment by calling 804-828-8828. The clinic also has a pharmacy with cessation medicines for reduced cost, including Wellbutrin, Patches, Gum, Lozenges and Chantix. You can also email for more information.

 Students and non-students can benefit from these resources.

  • Check out this 12 min youtube on the single best way to quit smoking:

  • Use online supports like This is Quitting
  • Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) for phone support

Check out all the good things that happen when you quit.

What’s the best way to quit – meds or no meds?

The best way to quit is to never give up on quitting. It often takes many attempts but you gain wisdom from each attempt. Students, especially those smoking more than 5 cigarettes a day, often find combining behavioral strategies with some type of medication very effective. But each person is different. We will meet you where you are and figure out what works best for you.

Here’s our best answer to meds versus no meds: Behavioral strategies and medicines are like shoes… You know how you try on shoes? And some fit. And some don’t. But you don’t give up wearing shoes? That’s the way it is with tobacco cessation strategies and medications. You try them on and see how they work for you. Just don’t quit on quitting.

For more information on quitting, check out our Build and use a quit kit materials. 

Do you have any special support for LGBTQIA+ students?

Yes! We have a special place in our hearts for this sub-population of nicotine using students. The LGBTQ population has been heavily target marketed by the industry over the years. You can make an appointment or email for more support. Check out these resources intended specifically for LGBTQ individuals.  

Is nicotine addiction genetically linked?

In a word, yes. You should know that “life is not fair.” Out of 4 people who try nicotine, 1 in 4 can’t use it because of their genetics. Nicotine makes them sick and they rarely use enough to get addicted. On the other hand, 3 in 4 people come from family trees of folks who smoke. It’s more likely they will rapidly grow to like it an get addicted. 

How can I help my friend or family member quit?

Don’t nag but do let them know you care and you will do everything you can to support them if and when they make a move to quit. Read more about supporting your loved one: Tobacco tips for friends/family.

Is hookah addictive?

It certainly can be. We have addicted smokers who drive around with a hookah in the cup holder of their car. IF you like hookah that means you like nicotine and nicotine puts you at risk for addiction. 

Does secondhand smoke affect my pets?

Research suggests it does. Long nose dogs that live with smokers are more likely to get lung cancer. Short nose dogs that live with smokers are more likely to get lung cancer. Cats that live with smokers often get oral cancer from licking chemicals from their fur. Your pets will love you even more when both of you are breathing fresh air all the time.   

What are the best online supports?

Check out This is Quitting. It features posts from around the internet from other people who are quitting, and exercises to help you quit. You can download the apps for your phone or follow on social media @ThisIsQuitting, #thisisquitting. Text QUITNOW to 434-381-4663 for free text messages to help you quit and stay quit. Check out this article on the Best Apps for quitting. Here are some tips from the experts- the people who have quit themselves!

Are e-cigs (vaping) addictive?

If they have nicotine, since nicotine is addictive, the answer is yes.

If you are a pack a day smoker who has switched to e-cigs (vaping), common sense and how your body feels will let you know things were better after you stopped smoking cigarettes. If you are a total non-smoker, while there are still many unknowns about e-cigs, the one thing we know for sure is that nicotine is addictive and may turn into an expensive life long habit. Also, new research suggests there are a variety of chemicals in unregulated ecigs that can cause health issues.

I heard VCU conducts research on smoking, nicotine, and tobacco. How do I get involved?

Interested in being part of the research around tobacco, nicotine or smoking? Check out these VCU studies currently recruiting participants: 

The Center for the Study of Tobacco Products:

VCU Psychology Department: