Oct. 29, 2004
UW-RF Continues Tobacco Education Program
By Christine Duellman
UW-RF News Bureau
UW-River Falls students and staff will participate in the Great American Smoke-out Nov. 18 in Hagestad Student Center. This event will provide information and resources for people wanting to quit a tobacco habit, and it also will show support for non-smokers.
Information tables with quit kits and freebies will be set up the day of the event. Participants also can tie-dye t-shirts that promote tobacco prevention.
"I think it's important to help students realize how beneficial it is to quit smoking, and non-smokers need to know ways to protect themselves from secondhand smoke," said Jennifer Elsesser, the tobacco education coordinator at UW-RF.
As a result of national tobacco lawsuits settlements, programs have been specifically geared toward preventing and reducing the use of tobacco by youth. Last year UW-River Falls received a grant of $42,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in order to launch its tobacco prevention program.
Extensive marketing campaigns attempting to convince students to quit using tobacco have been posted around campus. "You Know You Want To" is a popular slogan that has been catching students' eyes this academic year.
Last year, 200 quit kits were distributed to smokers on campus. The quit kits include information about services provided by the University, hotline numbers, and snacks including sunflower seeds and candy.
Results of a recent survey done by Student Health Services showed a small percentage of the student body are regular smokers. The number of smokers has gone down since last year when the tobacco education program began.
"It's nice to see they're trying to help smokers instead of attacking the smokers," says student and former smoker Georgia Wagner "There's a lot of good information around campus but there needs to be even more."
Every Tuesday through the school year, tobacco education tables are set up in the Hagestad Student Center from 1-2 p.m.
For more information about the services provided by Student Health Services, contact Elsesser at 715/425-3755 or log on to www.uwrf.edu/student-health-service.