Tobacco & Nicotine Cessation Services

The majority of Cornell students don't use tobacco or nicotine. And of those who do, approximately two thirds want to quit. Unfortunately, nicotine is highly addictive, and quitting can be hard. Reaching out for support and guidance can make a difference. In fact, accessing personal support and pharmacy resources can double your chances of becoming nicotine-free. Additionally, most health insurance covers both medication and visits with a health care provider to help you stop smoking. If you or a friend are interested in quitting, Cornell Health offers several services to help you leave tobacco and nicotine behind.

Thinking about quitting? 

Here are a year's worth of reasons to quit

Learn more about the health effects of quitting smoking, experienced during the 1st year.

After quitting for:

20 minutes…

  • Blood pressure drops
  • Heart rate drops
  • Body temperature of hands and  feet increase

8 hours…

  • Carbon monoxide level in the blood drops
  • Oxygen level in blood increases

48 hours…

  • Nerve endings start to re-grow
  • Ability to smell and taste is enhanced

72 hours…

  • Bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier
  • Overall energy level increases
  • Coughing, congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath decrease

2–3 Weeks…

  • Chance of heart attack decreases
  • Body is better able to fight infection
  • Circulation improves
  • Walking becomes easier
  • Lung function increases up to 30 percent

1–9 Months…

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease
  • Cilia re-grow in lungs, increasing their ability to handle mucous, clean the lungs, and reduce infection
  • Body’s overall energy level increases

1 Year…

  • Excess risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker

Resources at Cornell Health 

  • Appointments for tobacco and nicotine cessation support are available to all Cornell students, regardless of insurance.
  • Pharmacy services are available to everyone.

Learn more about ...

Medical visits

Cornell Health’s primary care providers can help you to review your tobacco use, learn about cessation tools that can improve your chance for success, and receive support to create a quit plan that may include medications. You can schedule a smoking cessation appointment with a medical provider online (at myCornellHealth) or by phone: 607-255-5155.

CAPS counseling & workshops 

CAPS staff offer group counseling and workshops to help students who are struggling with their alcohol or other drug use, including smoking and other nicotine use.

Students can also meet individually with a counselor for support in setting a quit date, identifying and reducing triggers for use, and learning ways to manage stress and cravings. The first step to accessing individual counseling is to schedule a CAPS "access appointment" online through myCornellHealth or by calling 607-255-5155.

Pharmacy supplies

Nicotine Replacement Therapies: Various nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) are available in the pharmacy at Cornell Health (age 18+ without a prescription). They can help relieve withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit.

  • Non-Prescription Medications: If you're 18 or older, no prescription is needed for NRT patches or gum. However, a one-month supply of patches can be covered by Cornell’s student health plan (SHP) if a student obtains a prescription from a medical provider. A two-week starter supply is also available for eligible individuals through NYS Quitline. Set up a clinical visit to explore this option.
  • Prescription Medications: Students under 18 need a prescription for NRT supplies. Other individuals benefit from using prescription cessation aids. Discuss your interest in these aides with a prescribing provider during a medical visit.  

Free Quit Kits

Quit Kits: Quit Kits include a combination of evidence-based tools to help manage any potential discomforts of quitting tobacco use.

Cornell Health Quit Kits include:

You can obtain a free quit kit at our Pharmacy on Level 4.

Other resources 

Local cessation services

  • Alcohol and Drug Council of Tompkins CountyADCTC offers cessation services, including nicotine replacement therapy for those in need. Located at 201 E Green St., #500, Ithaca. Call 607-274-6288 for more information.
  • Cayuga Medical Center (CMC): CMC offers free monthly support meetings for individuals thinking about quitting or working to maintain a quit plan. The group will help bolster relapse prevention skills and offers continuous support. Call 607-252-3590 for more information.
  • Cornell Wellness: Tobacco cessation services for Cornell employees, including free tobacco coaching, are customized to meet you where you are in your quit attempt. One-on-one phone support, and group support are available. Call 607-255-5060 for more information.
  • Tompkins County Mental Health Clinic: TCMHC offers two tobacco cessation groups that run twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays).TCMHC is located at 201 E Green St., Ithaca. Call 607-274-6200 for more information

State and national resources

  • NYS Quitline: Call 1-866-NY-QUITS or 1-866-697-8487 for a free phone consultation with a NYS tobacco cessation specialist.  A quit coach will walk you through tips for quitting and additional resources available locally. The quitline also offers a free nicotine patch started quit to eligible smokers.
  • NY SmokeFree: The New York State Smokers’ QuitLine website provides information and tools for quitting, facts about tobacco, educational links, and resources for professionals helping others with tobacco cessation.
  • Quitnet: QuitNet is a smoking cessation site owned by Axia Health Management that operates in association with the Boston University School of Public Health.  It allows you to design your own quit program by reviewing a quit guide, get expert support on- line or receive support from ex-smokers and others in the process of quitting.
  • Tobacco Free U: The Tobacco Free U site, sponsored by Bacchus and Gamma. offers students facts and figures about tobacco; information on creating campus policy; review of the health implications of second-hand smoke; assistance with quitting tobacco, tips on how to help a friend quit, along with educational materials and support for those planning programs or advocacy activities.
  • CDC How 2 Quit: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site provides information on how to quit.
  • Freedom from Smoking:The American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking website connects you to local, small group, 8-week cessation programs led by an expert facilitator, wherein individuals work through the quitting process. Also included is a message board, written resources, and supportive information.

Smartphone apps for cessation

Smartphone apps can be helpful for keeping your plan to quit on track. 

  • QuitGuide: QuitGuide is a free app that helps you understand your smoking patterns and build the skills needed to become and stay smoke-free. You can also track cravings by time of day and location and get inspirational messages for each craving you track, which keep you focused and motivated on your smoke-free journey.
  • Smoke Free: Marketed as, “The stop smoking app that science built,” this free services offers 20 different evidence-based techniques to aid in smoking cessation.
  • quitSTART: quitSTART is a free app made for teens who want to quit smoking, but adults can use it too. This app takes the information you provide about your smoking history and gives you tailored tips, inspiration, and challenges to help you become smokefree and live a healthier life.