The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

American Cancer Society urges students to give up cigarettes

This year marks the silver anniversary of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. Today is the day that smokers are encouraged to quit or smoke less for one day in hopes that they will quit for a lifetime.

To coincide with the national event, UW-Eau Claire will hold a panel discussion titled “The First Steps Toward Quitting Smoking.”

Sarah Harvieux, university health educator, said the panel will consist of an informal question and answer session.

According to a survey taken in May of 2000, 40 percent of UW-Eau Claire students smoke.

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“We saw a need for a panel like this. The facts about smoking and the dangers are already publicized,” Harvieux said. “We’re recognizing that this is a tough decision. We’re trying to show smokers that there are a lot of resources out there to help people quit.”

Two cessation experts will be available to answer questions. Dr. Mark Lindsay, a pulmonary disease specialist and Lynn Naiberg, a registered nurse in the Nicotine Dependence Center, are from Luther Midelfort Clinic.

Junior Marisa Drew, who recently quit smoking, will answer questions from a student’s point of view. Drew, who smoked for more than a year, started at her waitressing job.

“Being a waitress, you don’t get many breaks,” Drew said. “So when we’d get breaks, everyone would go on a cigarette break, and I started to go too.”

Drew said that once she turned 21 she didn’t want to smoke anymore.

“I didn’t like the way it smelled, or the way I felt,” she said. “I didn’t want to give in to a drug that I never pictured myself using.”

Drew said that she will tell smokers that quitting isn’t easy; it’s something you have to set your heart on.

“You have to be ready and confident to quit,” she said. “You can’t play run-around games with yourself, you have to decide.”

This is the first panel on this topic held at Eau Claire, Harvieux said. The discussion was planned to coincide with the Great American Smokeout in effort to increase awareness about the event.

Participants will receive help kits, which include mints, gum, stress toys and other aids to help smokers quit, as well as pamphlets about smoking and other information regarding smoking and quitting.

“The panel is open to anyone, but we’re targeting people who are thinking about quitting smoking,” Harvieux said. “We want to introduce to smokers that there are steps that they can take to quit.”

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American Cancer Society urges students to give up cigarettes