Smoking and Tobacco Cessation Programs

Smoking and Tobacco Cessation Programs

Quit at Duke

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When you’re ready to quit or reduce your smoking or tobacco use, our trained tobacco treatment specialists will customize a program to help you reach your goal at your own pace.

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Your First Appointment

To give you the best chance of success, we need to get to know you and find out why you use tobacco -- whether it's to manage stress, because of physical dependence, or a host of other reasons. We'll also ask about what's prompted you to make a change; perhaps it’s your health, finances, or family. That’s why your first appointment includes meeting with a doctor. He or she will perform a physical exam, review your medical history, and talk with you about any previous attempts to quit. 

Carbon Monoxide Breath Test
You’ll be asked to breathe into a tube attached to a handheld device. This will analyze how much carbon monoxide is in your breath, which gives our treatment specialists helpful information about your tobacco use.

Lung Function Test
Because chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is most often caused by smoking, we want to measure how well your lungs are working. You'll be asked to blow into a tube that's attached to a spirometer. This machine can detect COPD before you develop symptoms.

Lung Cancer Screening
Your doctor may recommend that you have a type of lung cancer screening, like low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), which uses small levels of radiation to produce an image of your lungs.

Treatment Plan
Before you leave your first appointment, you and your doctor will set a treatment plan that will likely include a combination of medication and counseling. You may also choose a Quit Day -- a date when you want to be tobacco-free. You’ll have follow-up appointments before and after your Quit Day. 

Continued Follow-Up
It often takes more than one attempt to stop using tobacco. Relapse is not failure; it's a learning opportunity. We’ll stick with you for as long as it takes. We can also offer phone checkups and referrals to support services that are close to your home.

Your visits may be covered by your insurance. Consult your insurance provider about the potential cost of your care.

Our Locations
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Treatment Options in the Smoking Cessation Program


Doctors may prescribe one or more medications to help you quit smoking or using other forms of tobacco. These include nicotine-replacement products (like a patch or gum) that help reduce your dependency on tobacco. Other medications may address related concerns, like not gaining weight. Our tobacco cessation program is flexible to accommodate your progress.


You will be able to choose which of our counseling options is right for you. We offer weekly one-on-one sessions with licensed experts. You’ll discuss your progress as well as social factors that contribute to tobacco use, and you’ll learn tactics to keep you on track. Group counseling sessions are based on the practice of mindfulness and aim to equip you with practical skills. We also offer family counseling sessions, as your chances of success with quitting increase dramatically if your partner or loved ones also quit.


We offer a free, interactive Mindfulness Training for Smokers course that is run by clinical social workers. The class teaches skills to help you quit smoking and has been shown to nearly double success rates compared with other behavioral programs.1

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Why Choose Duke

Intensive Team Approach
Duke takes a comprehensive approach to tobacco cessation by combining medication and counseling services. This concept, which is supported by published guidelines, is the gold standard of tobacco cessation care and has been proven to be more effective than quitting on your own.2,3,4

Clinical Research
As a leader in tobacco cessation research, we give you access to the most advanced treatment methods through our ongoing clinical trials. To learn more, please visit the Duke Clinical Trials Directory

Education and Training
Duke and the University of North Carolina have partnered to create a training program accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP) to educate and develop the next generation of tobacco treatment specialists. 

Mobile and Tele-Health Referrals
We partner with state and national services to offer virtual or phone-based support for people who don’t live close to Duke.

Consistently Ranked Among the Nation’s Best Hospitals
In addition, Duke University Hospital is proud to be named the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 10 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.

Patient Resources for Quitting Smoking

Reviewed: 07/15/2019