Campaign spreads word about dangers of smoking

Molly Tumanic

Although there was no rally on campus, Health Services is honoring the 2002 Great Smokeout campaign by spreading awareness of the risks of smoking.

The Great Smokeout campaign states its purpose is not to condemn smokers but to feed the world information of the health hazards smoking brings.

Freshman Anne Reinke chooses not to smoke because of her personal history associated with the dangers of smoking.

“My grandma died of lung cancer,” she said. “I’ve seen how it can affect loved ones.”

Campus studies taken this fall, showed that 69 percent of UW-Eau Claire students had not smoked in the 30 days before the survey.

Still, the study showed that some college students adopt the habit of smoking when they move away from home.

Sarah Harvieux, health educator at Health Services, said the reasons people start smoking are social/bonding benefits, peer pressure and stress management.

Stress management is the main reason why the majority of college students who choose to smoke begin at college, she said.

The campaign’s fundamental purpose is to have a day that is supposed to be a 24-hour period of no smoking. This year’s day was Nov. 21.

Along with this goal, the program offers the opportunity for a free assessment of smoking habits to determine the right routes for quitting.

UW-Eau Claire offers free individual meetings designed to help students choose to quit and give support through the process.

Students interested in quitting are encouraged to contact the Health Services office.

It offers a Quit Kit with information on making the decision to quit, resources available on and off campus and cessation aids, such as stress toys.

In addition, anyone living in Wisconsin can contact the Tobacco Quit Line for free phone counseling sessions and referrals to cessation programs in the community.

The Great Smokeout and health associations nationwide specifically target universities and seek to provide education on the matter and offer this word of the wise: quit smoking for your own good.