Photo by Becky Raspe

Student organization Tobacco Free's poster at The Great American Smoke Out depicted the physical and financial cost of smoking and how to quit.

 

December 7, 2015

Cleveland State supports Great American Smoke Out

Cleveland State University’s Tobacco-Free organization participated in the nationwide “The Great American Smoke Out” yearly event, which takes place on the third Thursday of November.

Coordinated at large by the American Cancer Society, the campaign advocates that smokers consider quitting for a day.

Tobacco Free, which is a part of Health and Wellness Services at Cleveland State, set up a table in the Innerlink on Nov. 17 and Nov. 19 to distribute information about how to stop smoking.

Volunteers handed out kits to help individuals quit and facts about the hazardous effects of the habit. “The Great American Smoke Out” was an event that Sydney Bauer, a graduate student studying occupational therapy and secretary of the Tobacco Free organization, could not miss — especially since it been two years since Cleveland State instituted its smoking ban in Fall 2013.

“Cleveland State is pushing to cite more violations,” Bauer said. “As an organization we want to start patrolling and hitting all of the active smoker ‘hot spots’ to make note of repeat offenses.”
Bauer suggested that if the organization attracts more members this effort would be easier as most of the campus is public.

“We want to show smokers where it’s legal to smoke and where it’s not,” Bauer said. “Also, by counting cigarette butts in high traffic areas, we can patrol common areas.”

Denise Keary, Health and Wellness coordinator, helped organize the Cleveland State version of “The Great American Smoke Out” and said she thinks that especially at a smoke-free campus, programs like these are important.

“It helps people start really thinking about smoking,” Keary said. “Education and awareness [are] like a catalyst, [they] help a lot of people to take the next step to quitting.”

Along with “The Great American Smoke Out,” Keary said she thought that it was a good opportunity to start “a conversation” about the smoking ban and to enlighten students and staff who may be thinking about quitting that services are available on campus.

“Since Cleveland State has been tobacco free since 2013, the university has been working to create a healthy, safe campus,” Keary said. “Student involvement is key when it comes to any health initiative, and it’s up to us to educate smokers who possibly don’t know how to quit.”

Keary mentioned that along with the statewide quitting help lines and the American Lung Association’s quitting literature, Cleveland State offers support services to help smokers quit through Health and Wellness Services. In person and over the phone counseling sessions are available by contacting Cleveland State’s health clinic at 216-687-3649 or contacting the Counseling Center at 216-687-2277.


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