WIU to Take Part in Great American Smoke Out Nov. 20
November 17, 2014
MACOMB, IL – Every week, the Western Illinois University Beu Health Center Health Education Office provides health and wellness tips via Twitter and Facebook. Information about how to quit smoking is often among the many helpful tips provided. This year, as in years past, Western will also spread the good word about tobacco cessation and take part in the Great American Smoke Out Thursday, Nov. 20.
According to Beu Health Education Coordinator JoAnn Hairston-Jones, on Nov. 20, Beu Health Education staff and students will provide information about the hazards of smoking, using tobacco, as well as about campus and community tobacco-cessation resources. She said Western staff and students will take part in the national event at various locations on campus, including from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., when awareness tables will be present in the University Union Concourse. Subway sandwich coupons (donated by Subway) will be given away to the first 50 persons to commit to quit for a day at the awareness tables (from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.).
In addition, WIU President Jack Thomas, Vice President for Student Services Gary Biller, Macomb Mayor Mike Inman and Student Government (SGA) President David Dunn will attend at noon for the Great American Smoke Out Proclamation signing in the University Union Concourse. Rocky and Col. Rock III will also be at the signing.
Prior to the Great American Smoke Out commemoration Nov. 20 at WIU, residence hall students will collect cigarette butts from the Macomb campus for an awareness display. The display will include information about the environmental impact of cigarette butts.
"The Inter-Hall Council will host an ice cream social for the residence hall that collects the most cigarette butts, and a $50 gift card will be given to the person who guesses the total weight of the cigarette-butt collection," Hairston-Jones said. "Across the planet, the litter from cigarettes from one year alone can be stacked from Earth to the moon 300 times."
Other smoking and tobacco-related topics will be addressed on campus Nov. 20 through information and resources, including facts about toxic chemicals in tobacco products (e.g., cigarettes contain more the 7,000 chemicals, including at least 69 cancer-causing toxins) and second-hand smoke (nearly 440,000 people die each year due to use of tobacco and from second-hand smoke), electronic cigarettes and hookah pipes. Information about tobacco-cessation resources will also be available, Hairston-Jones added.
Additionally, on Nov. 20, student ambassadors will pass out bottles of bubbles at building entrances around campus to encourage individuals to "Blow bubbles, Not Smoke."
"The purpose of this project is to remind smokers to comply with the current WIU smoking and tobacco-use policy and to provide information about tobacco-cessation resources and to promote the upcoming implementation of the Smoke Free Illinois Campus Act, which will go into effect July 1, 2015," Hairston-Jones said.
Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the Great American Smoke Out is a nationally commemorated event held on the third Thursday of November. The purpose is to encourage smokers to pledge to quit smoking for a day.
WIU and area partners involved in WIU's Kick Butts event include: the American Cancer Society, Beu Health Center, Students T.A.L.K., Colleges Against Cancer, Employee Wellness, Eta Sigma Gamma, Inter Hall Council, SGA, WIU's Alcohol and Other Drug Resource Center, Subway, the University Union Board, Campus Recreation, the McDonough County Health Department and McDonough District Hospital. This project is, in part, funded by a Substance Abuse Prevention Grant.
For more information, contact Hairston-Jones at (309) 298-3225 or via email at J-Hairston-Jones@wiu.edu. Find Beu Health Center on Facebook at facebook.com/BeuHealthCenter and on Twitter at twitter.com/BeuHealthEd.