Quit Smoking to Reduce Your Cancer Risk
Contact the Helpline
If you're ready to quit, or just thinking about it, call 1-800-NO-BUTTS or visit California Smoker's Helpline.
Cancers caused by tobacco can be prevented, and the first step may be to seek professionals who can help. The California Smokers' Helpline — a partnership between investigators at Moores Cancer Center and the California Department of Health — offers telephone counseling assistance and a range of other free services, such as self-help materials and opportunities to participate in ongoing research projects.
You can also see a comprehensive list of National Cancer Institute tobacco cessation resources.
About the Smokers' Helpline
The Helpline, also known as 1-800-N0-BUTTS, was established in 1992 by Cancer Center researchers and became the first in the nation to offer free, telephone-based services for tobacco users wanting to quit. The Helpline has served as a model for similar services that are now available in all 50 states.
Since its debut in August 1992, the California Smokers’ Helpline has provided free, personalized and confidential services to more than 600,000 Californians from diverse communities throughout the state.
Quitting assistance is provided in English (800-NO-BUTTS), Spanish (800-45-NO-FUME), Korean (800- 556-5564), Vietnamese (800-778-8440), and Mandarin and Cantonese (800-838-8917). Specialized services are also available for teens, pregnant women, and tobacco chewers.
How the Helpline works
A Helpline counselor assists a caller.
First-time callers are asked questions to determine their needs, and are given a choice of services, self-help materials and/or counseling. Clients who choose counseling are given the option of beginning counseling immediately or scheduling an appointment to be called another time.
The initial counseling session lasts approximately 40 minutes and counselors strive to build selfconfidence, develop an individualized quit plan, and set a quit date.
Counselors will make up to five shorter, follow-up calls after the client quits to help prevent relapse, which is more likely to happen in the first week after quitting. These calls last 10-15 minutes and are designed to keep clients on track with their plan, offer support, and provide a reasonable measure of accountability. Counselors review quit status, withdrawal symptoms, pharmacotherapy issues, and smoking events, if any. They then help clients assess how their plans are working and develop new strategies if needed. Finally, counselors ask about future trigger situations, which are then included in the maintenance plan.
If a client relapses, the counselor discusses the specific smoking situation that triggered the relapse, and helps the client plan differently for next time. Many clients will set a new quit date and the process begins anew.