Tobacco Use Disorder

Tobacco Use Disorder

Hello everyone. 

The subject of smoking cigarettes is near and dear to my heart.  Smoking is now called  “Tobacco Use Disorder”, and it is very addictive.   Quitting smoking is hard but it can be done.  Your provider has many tools in their toolbox to help. 

Our friends at the CDC have lots of resources.  The American Lung Association has programs to help you get started and stay the course.  The State of Nevada also has options to offer.  Let’s talk about quitting! 

The American Lung association has much to say about stopping smoking: 

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., making it critically important that prevention and cessation programs are available to help people break their tobacco addiction for good. The American Lung Association supports funding for federal, state, and local programs that help tobacco users quit and prevent kids and adults from starting to use tobacco.

We also support policies that give smokers easy access to all treatments proven effective to help them quit. Medicaid expansion and most private health insurance plans are required to cover a comprehensive tobacco cessation benefit for plan members, including all seven medications and three types of counseling recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service. To help smokers quit, the Lung Association encourages all health plans to cover a comprehensive, barrier-free cessation benefit.

The Lung Association is a leader in the area of tobacco cessation policy at the federal, state, and local levels. Since 2007, our Tobacco Cessation Policy Project has provided up-to-date information and tools for advocates, policymakers, media, and smokers.

To start your journey to being smoke-free, go to

The Centers for Disease Control, CDC, also wants to help you to stop smoking:

Trying to quit smoking feels different for each person, but almost everyone will have some symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. When you stop, your body and brain have to get used to not having nicotine. This can be uncomfortable, but nicotine withdrawal can’t hurt you – unless you give in and have a cigarette!

Over time, withdrawal symptoms will fade as long as you stay smokefree.

1. Having urges or cravings to smoke

Almost everyone who smokes regularly has cravings or urges to smoke when they quit. They may be mild or can sometimes feel overwhelming. Figuring out how to deal with cravings is one of the most important things you can do to stay successful.

Ways to manage:  There are LOTS of things you can do to make urges and cravings less of a problem. Quit-smoking medicines can help a lot, and so can other quitting tips. Cravings can be triggered by things that make you think about smoking—like people you smoked with, a place you often smoked, or things you used to do while smoking like having a cup of coffee. Even a thought or a feeling can trigger a craving. But other thoughts can help you get through a craving, like remembering why you are quitting. Remember that you never have to give in to a craving, and that it will always pass.

2. Feeling irritated, grouchy, or upset

It is very common to feel irritated or grouchy when you quit. Even many people who have never smoked know this is part of quitting. Knowing this is normal can be helpful.

Ways to manage:  Remind yourself that you likely feel this way because your body is getting used to being without nicotine. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself why you’re quitting.

3. Feeling jumpy and restless

Feeling jumpy or restless during the first days or weeks after quitting is normal. Just like your mind gets irritated without nicotine at first, the rest of your body can, too.

Ways to manage: Doing some physical activity can help shake loose your jumpiness. Get up and walk around for a bit if you feel restless. Try cutting back on coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks. When you quit smoking, caffeine lasts longer in your body.

4. Having a hard time concentrating

You may notice that it is harder to concentrate in the first days after you quit—this is very common.

Ways to manage:  Try to cut yourself some slack, especially in the first days after you quit. Try to limit activities that require strong concentration if you can.

5. Having trouble sleeping

It’s common to have some trouble sleeping when you first quit smoking. This will get better, but if it is bothering you, talk with your healthcare provider to get help. If you become exhausted from poor sleep, this can make it harder to stay quit.

Ways to manage:

  • If you drink coffee, tea, or other caffeinated drinks regularly, don’t drink them in the late afternoon or evening. When you quit smoking, caffeine lasts longer in your body.
  • If you are using the nicotine patch, try taking it off an hour before bedtime. Sometimes the nicotine in the patch can affect your sleep.
  • Try some of the other things that can help you get a good night’s sleep:
    • Don’t watch TV or use phones, computers, or e-books in bed.
    • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
    • Don’t eat a heavy meal or drink alcohol right before bed.
    • Add in some physical activity during the day (but not right before bed).
    • Go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day, even on weekends.

6. Feeling hungrier or gaining weight

It’s normal for your appetite to increase some when you quit. And your body may not burn calories quite as fast. You may also eat more because of the stress of quitting or to have something to do with your hands and mouth. Food may even be more enjoyable because your senses of smell and taste are not being dulled by all that smoke!

Ways to manage: While some people may gain weight after they quit, it’s important for your health to quit sooner than later. Below are a few simple things you can do to help control weight gain after quitting. The bonus is that these things will help you build healthy behaviors for a lifetime of being smokefree!

  • Snack smart. If you eat between meals, find some healthy, low-calorie foods that still give your mouth and hands something to do, like celery, carrots, or sugar-free mints. You can also keep your hands and mouth busy with a toothpick or a straw.
  • Be active. Any physical activity is better than none. Even if you don’t want to join a gym or take up running, simply going for a walk can have real health benefits!
  • When you eat, focus on eating. Eating is often something we do in the background while we watch TV or check our phones. When we eat like this, we eat more. When you quit smoking, make a point of removing distractions when you eat. Also try eating a bit slower and focus on enjoying your food. This can help you notice when you are getting full.

If you are worried about gaining weighta quit coach can help you with other quitting tips, or you can talk with your healthcare provider for help.

7. Feeling anxious, sad, or depressed

People who smoke are more likely to have anxiety or depression than people who don’t smoke. Some people feel mood changes for a short time after they quit smoking. Watch for this, especially if you’ve ever had anxiety or depression.

For some people, smoking may seem like it helps with anxiety or depression, but don’t be tricked. Smoking might make you feel better in the short-term, but that’s because the nicotine in cigarettes stops the discomfort of withdrawal, not because it is helping with anxiety or depression. There are much better ways to deal with withdrawal symptoms and mood changes than returning to smoking! The good news is that once people have been smoke-free for a few months, their anxiety and depression levels are often lower than when they were smoking.

Ways to manage:

  • Be Active. Being physically active can help lift your mood. Start small and build up over time. This can be hard to do if you’re feeling down. But your efforts will pay off.
  • Structure your day. Stay busy. Get out of the house if you can.
  • Connect with other people. Being in touch or talking with others every day can help your mood. Try to connect with people who are supportive of your efforts to quit smoking.
  • Reward yourself. Do things you enjoy. Even small things add up and help you feel better.
  • Talk with a healthcare provider. If you don’t feel better in a couple weeks, or your symptoms feel unmanageable, it’s important to contact a healthcare provider.

What if feelings of depression get worse, or don’t get better? You should get help. Talk to your healthcare provider, call the quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW), or seek appropriate emergency help.

  • Sometimes people who are feeling depressed think about hurting themselves or dying. If you or someone you know is having these feelings, get help now.
    • Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department for emergency medical treatment.
    • Don’t be alone. Don’t leave another person alone if he or she is in crisis.

The State of Nevada also has resources to help: 

Free services and medications available to help Nevada smokers quit

Nevada Tobacco Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW

Carson City July 29, 2020

Smokers, other tobacco users, including those who use e-cigarettes and vaping devices can get free phone tobacco cessation counseling and resources to help them quit.

Resources include medications made available by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Medications include gum and/or patches, lozenges, inhalers, and/or nasal sprays; supplies depend on availability and eligibility.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tips From Former Smokers national tobacco education campaign is encouraging smokers to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) for help getting medications and counseling at no cost. Callers must enroll in the Nevada Tobacco Quitline to work with a trained coach and be medically eligible to receive free medication.

People who smoke cigarettes can and do quit. In fact, today there are more former smokers than current smokers in the United States. According to the CDC (2018), about 68%of adult cigarette smokers want to quit and research shows quitting completely at any age has health benefits.

Stopping smoking:
• Lowers your risk of developing lung, throat, bladder, and cervical cancers.
• Reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.
• Reduces the risk of developing complications in people with diabetes.
• Reduces respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
• Reduces risk of developing lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
• Reduces risk of infertility in women of childbearing age. Women who stop smoking during pregnancy also reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby.
• Lowers health risks associated with secondhand smoke.

Quitline counseling and medication, including gum, patches, lozenges, inhalers, and/or nasal sprays are all effective tools in helping smokers quit. Using them together is more effective than using any other method alone. Medications help smokers quit by decreasing the urge to smoke and other withdrawal symptoms while quitting.

Data shows approximately one out of every six of Nevada adults smoke. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Smoking kills 480,000 Americans each year and is responsible for diseases affecting another 16 million.

Additional information on quitting tobacco is available at or

Everyone who smokes has a reason to quit: 

  • I am tired of wasting my money on cigarettes.
  • My clothes and hair always smell like cigarette smoke.
  • I cough all the time.
  • My kids want me to quit.
  • My mother/brother/father/grandparents/sister died of lung cancer.
  • Walking is so much harder than it should be.
  • I dropped a cigarette in my lap and burned my dog/cat/child.
  • I look 10 years older than my biological age.

Whatever the reason, use that to take control of your smoking.  As you can see, there are resources to keep you motivated and on track.  Help yourself have a wonderful future free of tobacco.  Call your provider today to make an appointment to talk about quitting.  Go to and take their help.  Go to the Nevada site and get some answers.  This could be the best thing you do for yourself!!