Tobacco Cessation

broken-cigarette

Harris County Public Health Department Urges Residents to Not Use E-Cigarettes

Across the U.S., multiple deaths and over 1,000 possible cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarettes have been confirmed by the CDC, and are under investigation. In Harris County, multiple individuals have been identified with vaping-related lung illness, as well. Therefore, HCPH recommends community members not use e-cigarette products, until the investigation is concluded. 

People who have trouble breathing, cough, chest pain, nausea, fatigue or other symptoms in the days or months after vaping should seek immediate medical attention. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette products are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco. 

The latest on the investigation of lung illness associated with using e-cigarette products, can be found on the CDC's outbreak of lung injury page.


Harris County Public Health Vaping-Related Lung Illness Count
As of 10/16/2019, Harris County Public Health has 5 confirmed or probable individuals with vaping-related lung illness.


This number will be updated every Wednesday by 12noon, if new individuals are identified.
Latest update: 10/16/19 11:50am CST

It’s never too late to quit. Stopping the use of any form of tobacco significantly improves your health and reduces your risk of lung disease, cancer, heart disease and numerous other smoking-related illnesses. The health benefits of quitting smoking today will surprise you. Did you know that you actually begin to feel the benefits of quitting smoking within as little as 20 minutes? 

Tobacco use is the #1 cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Quitting will not only benefit you, but it will benefit anyone else living with you, as you're eliminating the damaging effects of secondhand smoke.

The Nutrition and Chronic Disease Prevention Division of Harris County Public Health (HCPH) offers and recommends the following free tobacco and vaping cessation programs.

For Individuals
Harris County Public Health recommends the Texas Quitline, a program offered by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Confidential phone counseling services and resources such as nicotine patches, gums, or lozenges are free to those who qualify. 

To apply, complete, sign and fax the Texas Quitline Fax Referral form (see below). The form is considered complete only if it is signed.

Texas Quitline form: English|Español.
For more information, call the Texas Quitline at 1.877.YES.QUIT. (1.877.937.7848)

For groups:

Tobacco Cessation Program:

HCPH uses Freshstart, the American Cancer Society’s free smoking cessation program. 

The trained facilitators from HCPH implement the Texas Quitline and Freshstart programs as follows: 
Tobacco users, residing in Harris County are eligible to participate (once screened) through a brief intervention program: Ask. Advise. Refer.

  • Participants are involved in a series of four 60-minute work sessions over a four-week period (modifiable)
  • Facilitators help track the average number of tobacco uses of each participant throughout the program and provides strategies to handle obstacles to assist participants in quitting smoking
  • Participants are then referred to the Texas Tobacco Quitline where they have the flexibility and convenience of having a trained counselor (a Quit Coach) contact them to help form an effective quit plan

To enroll in our program, email Mayra Aquino at  Mayra.Aquino@phs.hctx.net.

*HCPH also offers a Youth Vaping Prevention Program for students in 5th-12th grades.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. How long is the program?

The program is four weeks long and is modifiable for community partners.

2. How much does it cost?

The program is free to all participants.

3. What age range can participate?

The program is open to all ages.

4. When can we begin the program?

Participants can begin the program within two weeks of registering.