Welcome to the Tobacco Treatment Program at MUSC Health. You’ve made one of the most important decisions in your life for your health and happiness, and our physicians and counselors are here to help you reach your goal. The tools we offer you in this section are based on decades of research and our own clinical experience in helping hundreds of people stay off cigarettes for the rest of their lives, so please know that others have quit for good and you can, too.

We’ll show you how to conquer your urges, use nicotine-management gums and lozenges, control your environment and get the emotional support you need. We are partners in your health. We know you can do this. Let’s get started.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Short-Term Benefits

There are many rewards for quitting smoking. You may be able to taste and smell better. You may enjoy having clean hair, clean clothes, clean teeth, fresh breath, and a clean car or clean house. You may be surprised at how fast you are getting your wind back or by how much money you are saving. You may also notice how much others around you appreciate the changes. All ex-smokers notice some of these pleasant changes soon after quitting. These short-term benefits are signs of future pay-offs and can help you stick with it in the early days after quitting. But what are the immediate pay-offs?

Within 12 hours of quitting, your body begins to heal itself. Mucus in your airways begins to break up and clear out of your lungs. Within 24 hours, carbon monoxide clears out of your body, freeing up more oxygen to enable you to breathe better. Within just two days, nicotine is gone from your body and no longer causes your heart to race and your blood pressure to rise, which allows your blood circulation to improve. Your risk of sudden death has been cut in half after two days.

Long-Term Benefits

By quitting smoking, you have already greatly reduced your risk of illness and you have also prolonged your life. The benefits of staying off cigarettes get bigger and better as time goes on. Your wind will continue to get better and better, and so will your pep. Your smoker’s cough will go away for good, and you are likely to catch fewer colds. You’re likely to have fewer major health problems along the way.

Ripple Benefits

Perhaps you’ll see yourself in a new way, as a person you like even more. You may feel better about yourself and about how you relate to others. Maybe you’ll have a new outlook on life, one that makes your daily routine just a little more fun. Ripple benefits such as these aren’t planned for, but they may end up being the best rewards of all. As you work hard to improve one part of your life, other parts may improve as well. For example, quitting will likely save you approximately $85/month, or $1000/year. You may also save money on insurance premiums and medical costs as a result of fewer minor (e.g., colds) and major illnesses. Take time to notice changes in your thoughts and feelings about yourself and your world. As you notice the ripple benefits of quitting, you’ll be happier about having stopped smoking cigarettes and you’ll be less likely to want to start smoking again.

By quitting – even for one day – you will be taking an important step toward a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing your cancer risk. It’s a race for your health.

More About Living Tobacco Free

Read more about our tobacco free program.

Listen to More Information

Listen to podcasts about the benefits of being tobacco free.

Enroll in a Program

Preparation is key to successfully quit smoking. Give yourself the best chance to quit and create a quit plan. Quit plans combine strategies to keep you focused and motivated, help you to overcome challenges, and can significantly improve your chances of quitting smoking for good. These resources will support your quit plan.

Read About the Harmful Effects of Tobacco

Further reading from the National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Mobile Applications

MUSC Health has developed a tobacco cessation mobile application for use on your smart phone. The mobile app can be downloaded through the MUSC Health.

Personal Stories

Donna and Kevin

Eileen's Story (video)

Research & Clinical Trials

There are opportunities to participate in clinical trials in the tobacco treatment area. Check back periodically for new volunteer opportunities.