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Tobacco Users

Tobacco use is a legal product for adults, and SXU is not asking or requiring anyone to quit. Our Tobacco-Free Campus Policy does not prohibit tobacco use; it merely establishes where use can occur. We hope that tobacco users who choose to continue using tobacco will respect our tobacco-free environment out of concern for their fellow campus community members.

If a tobacco user wishes to quit or cut down, SXU can provide assistance through either on-site programs and/or referral to outside resources (see below).

How to be Compliant with the Tobacco-Free Campus Policy

The Tobacco-Free Campus Policy prohibits tobacco use on all SXU property, so tobacco users need to plan ahead for compliance while they are on campus. Here are a few tips to help you create a plan that will work for you:

  • Use a nicotine replacement
  • There are many over-the-counter nicotine/tobacco replacements available. Some forms include patches, gum and lozenges. Many are the same price or less than cigarettes themselves.
  • Use the areas governed by the City of Chicago
  • There are areas on the perimeter of campus that are not covered by the policy, but are governed by the City of Chicago laws. We also want to be good neighbors, so please do not use tobacco on any private property. City sidewalks and parkways are readily accessible around the perimeter of campus.
  • Taper your use
  • Many tobacco users can taper down their use to accommodate long periods of time without nicotine. Start by gradually reducing the number of cigarettes/dips you use until your body is used to lower nicotine levels for longer periods of time.

Resources for Quitting

For those students, faculty and staff who use tobacco and would like information about reducing tobacco use or quitting, SXU has several options for you:

  1. There are medications available that can help you quit, both over-the-counter and by prescription. The nurse practitioners at the SXU Health Center can discuss what the best options may be for you and give you prescriptions as needed. Please call for an appointment (773-298-3712).
  2. SXU offers the Courage to Quit® Program. This program designed by the Respiratory Health Association helps facilitate those who wish to quit smoking in a supportive, small group environment. Courage to Quit is six (6) sessions over seven (7) weeks and meets on campus. Those who wish to participate will not need to quit until week three (3). If you are interested in this program please contact the SXU Health Center at healthcenterFREESXU or call 773-298-3712.
  3. If you prefer one-on-one phone counseling, the Illinois Tobacco Quitline provides free phone counseling and support at 1-866-QUIT-YES. This is a free, statewide telephone helpline staffed by trained counselors who can provide information about quitting and can work with you to develop a customized quitting plan.
  4. Sign up for the Smokefree Text Messaging Program in order to receive daily encouragement via text message.
  5. Use these reliable online resources:
  6. Little Company of Mary Hospital Health Education Center offers a Commit to Quit Hypnosis Program for $70. Registration is required. Contact Little Company of Mary directly for the schedule and to register at 708-423-5774.
  7. You may also contact your primary care physician.

Remember, each quit attempt teaches you something new. Many tobacco users require several quit attempts before they are successful. Never give up!

Benefits of Quitting

Benefits of quitting smoking start after just 20 minutes of being tobacco free! The American Cancer Society provides a timeline of health milestones individuals can look forward to once they've quit:

Time Since Quitting Benefits
20 minutes Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
12 hours The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2 weeks-3 months Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
1-9 months Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs (called cilia) start to regain normal function in your lungs, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
1 year The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.
5 years Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder is cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Your stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2 to 5 years.
10 years Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. Your risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.
15 years Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's.