Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently asked questions about:

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What is the best way to quit smoking?

Answer: Everyone is different! Many treatment options available to you. With nicotine replacement, some quit planning or counseling or any combination, you can increase your chances of success for the short and long-term. Health Promotion Council staff and partners are here to help you find what you need. Call 215-731-6154 or 1-800-QuitNow.

What are the most powerful tools for quitting smoking?

Quit Smoking Help - Grades

nicotine gum

Are nicotine replacement products like "the patches" or "the gum" safe? and can I smoke when I use them?

Answer: All FDA approved nicotine replacement products, such as the patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler, nasal spray are all very safe. The patches, gums, and lozenges are available over the counter without the prescription. However, depending on your insurance plan, these products may be covered at little to no-cost. Ask your doctor.

It is best not to smoke when using nicotine replacement. Patches are best used to manage throughout the day nicotine withdrawal. Gums and lozenges with nicotine can be helpful for the moment to moment urges and cravings. Smoking while using these products is not particularly dangerous. However, they are designed to help you manage and avoid smoking urges and should be used only for that purpose.  

I have heart, coronary or cardiovascular problems. Can I use nicotine replacement products?

Answer: Studies (example here) have shown that using nicotine replacement products, such as the patch, do not increase the risk of heart attack.

I am trying to quit another addiction. Should I try to quit smoking at the same time?

Answer: Changing multiple behaviors at the same time, such as quitting smoking and starting new exercise routines at the same time, has been found to increase overall chances of success!

Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping FAQ

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Can e-cigarettes or vaping help me quit smoking?

Answer: Electronic cigarettes and vaping have not be fully researched as tools for quitting smoking. Some studies have found that cigarette smokers can switch to e-cigarettes or vaping nicotine, which may be somewhat less harmful, though we don't know for sure. However, other studies show that the use of e-cigarettes or vaping as a way to quit smoking is associated with increased chances of smoking relapse. So, no, e-cigarettes or vaping are not the best options. Feel free to contact us to discuss or learn further or check out our interview on WHYY Radio Times.

Are e-cigarettes and vaping safer than regular smoking?

Answer: E-cigarettes and vaporizers might be less dangerous than cigarettes or other non-burning products, but they are not competely safe. More research is needed. The vaping and e-cigarette devices are not well regulated. Regardless, nicotine by itself can further cardiovascular and heart diseases.

Tobacco Law and Policy

Is it legal to buy or sell "loosies" (single cigarettes)?

Answer: No. Buying or selling loosies is illegal. 

More, stay tuned. (Tobacco 21, Philadelphia retailer density, more)

Natural Tobacco

Are "natural" tobacco products, such as American Spirit cigarettes safer?

Answer: No. Natural tobacco products and those with out additives are NOT safer or less damaging to health. The Surgeon General tobacco warning on packs states "no additives in our tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette".

Hookah and Water Pipe

Hookahs are pipes that use charcoal to burn tobacco, fruit, and other products. The users inhale through a tube (that is usually shared by multiple users) that pulls smoke through the water.  While many people perceive hookah smoking to be less dangerous, there is plenty of evidence that suggests that smoking through hookah can deliver much more smoke and nicotine than a cigarette, AND that the smoke is just as dangerous. Approximately 1 hour of hookah smoking equals 100 cigarettes! (*WHO) For more information on hookahs, please visit the CDC

Second-Hand (and Third-Hand) Smoke FAQ

Second-hand smoke is smoke that has been inhaled, then exhaled in to the air, then other people breath i in. Second-hand smoke contains the same 7,000+ chemicals that smoking does. Second-hand smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Plus, second-hand smoke is absorbed by clothes, furniture, blankets, etc and the dangerous chemicals are re-released into the air when moved or brushed against. This "third-hand smoke" is particularly dangerous for babies and children who nestle, and play on the floor, and have a weaker, less developed immune system, and are therefore more susceptible to health risks assocaited with tobacco smoke exposure. For more information on second and third-hand smoke, please visit American Cancer Society or Pennsylvania's Clean Air Council.

More questions? Contact us!