Quit Smoking Support

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Last Modified: May 8, 2013


How can I get help to quit smoking that actually works? How/where do I start?


Christina Bach, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, Oncology Social Worker at Penn Medicine, responds:

Congratulations on wanting to quit smoking! That is a very important first step. There are many options for getting help with quitting. I would first encourage you to talk with your physician about options for medications, including Chantix, Wellbutrin and Nicotine Gum and Patches. All of these interventions have shown great responses for patients, but each person is different and each of these treatment options carries side effects. Your physician can also provide resources for local smoking cessation programs. There are also several research studies (clinical trials) looking at best practice methods for smoking cessation and are even studying smoking cessation in caregivers/family members of cancer patients. Also, you may want to contact your health insurance plan, as they often offer smoking cessation programs and even financial incentives for quitting. This will be a challenge for you; full of accomplishments and setbacks. Remember to give yourself permission to experience the goods and bads of the smoking cessation process and to involve your family and friends in your goal of quitting. It takes a village!!!

Get started by reading these articles on OncoLink.

Anil Vachani, MD, Pulmonologist at Penn Medicine adds:

Quitting smoking can be challenging, but there are several strategies to increase your chances of success. This includes using some sort of pharmacologic therapy (Zyban, Chantix, or nicotine replacement therapy). If possible, you should also take advantage of counseling, either group or individual. It has been shown that individuals that use both (pharmacotherapy and counseling) have the highest rates of quitting. The various options can be discussed with your primary physician or a provider associated with a smoking cessation clinic.


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