Tobacco Treatment

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Many people who use vape, smoke, or chew tobacco want to quit. They try patches, gum, going cold turkey, but nothing sticks. No matter how many times you've tried to quit and failed, there's hope. Our personalized tobacco treatment program can work for you. 

A Tobacco Treatment Based on Science 

You're on your own individual journey. We’ll tailor a plan to meet your needs. 

Our program offers both:

  • Counseling
  • Medication strategies

Research shows that this combination – a counselor plus medicine – gives you the greatest chance of success.

Who Can Participate?

You qualify for this free program if you’re:

  • A patient at the UVA Cancer Center
  • A family member living in the same household as a patient who joins the program

How Tobacco Treatment Works

During your first appointment, you’ll meet with your personal tobacco treatment specialist.

With this counselor, you’ll:

  • Review your current and past tobacco use and quit attempts
  • Discuss nicotine withdrawal, coping with stress, and relapse prevention
  • Learn about medication and nicotine-replacement therapies
  • Decide on the length of your treatment
  • Plan follow-ups after treatment (3, 6, and 12-month follow-up)

The first visit usually lasts up to one hour. Follow-up visits can last between 5 to 30 minutes.

How Quitting Tobacco Impacts Your Health

As soon as you quit, your body begins to repair itself. As you heal from the damage caused by tobacco:

  • Your heart rate normalizes
  • The carbon monoxide levels in your blood go down
  • Your breathing gets better

You’ll feel better overall in terms of appetite, sleep, energy, and emotional well-being.

Why Quit Tobacco When You Have Cancer?

Your cancer treatments will work better and you’ll heal faster without tobacco. Quitting smoking, vaping, or chewing:

  • Makes your cancer treatments more effective
  • Lowers the chance of side effects
  • Lengthens your life expectancy
  • Lowers the chance of cancer coming back
  • Reduces the chance of infection

Support & Resources

  • Talk to your healthcare provider 
  • Call 800-QUIT-NOW
  • Get support on live chat
  • Download an app on your phone - QuitGuide or QuitSTART


Tobacco Treatment Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I meet with a counselor to quit tobacco?

Working with a trained professional and taking medication gets better results than just medication or trying to quit on your own. This combination also makes people less likely to relapse.

Can I talk to the counselor on the phone?

Yes, you can do your counseling sessions on the phone or in person.

How long are the sessions?

The first visits usually last up to one hour. Follow-up visits can last between 5 to 30 minutes.

What if I’m not ready to quit using tobacco?

You can still join the program. We’ll work with you wherever you are.

For example, you may choose to reduce your tobacco use for a period of time before quitting altogether. The choice is always yours.

What if I cannot quit?

If you don’t quit during the program, we can:

  • Make your treatment last longer
  • Change your medication
  • Refer you to outside tobacco cessation support.

Why is tobacco hard to quit?

It's not just about will power. Nicotine is a drug. It tricks your brain into wanting and needing tobacco. That's why medical treatment and support can help you quit.