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Web site aims to help students quit smoking

September 5, 2001

Olin Health Center is determined to get the word out about the dangers of smoking.

The health center is kicking off a campaign to help students quit smoking through a new Web site geared toward college students.

The site, www.healthed.msu. edu/smoking, has tips on how to curb cravings, statistics to show its affects and information on how to deal with relapse.

The campaign was formed in response to the National Collegiate Health Assessment survey, a study which showed national college smoking rates have increased more than any other portion of the population.

The study, conducted in 2000, found 28.5 percent of college students are smokers. And at MSU, 29.4 percent of students smoke.

Jasmine Greenamyer, a health educator for Olin’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Program, said the statistics were what sparked interest in the campaign.

“MSU is at a shortage of information aimed at college students,” she said. “The campaign is on three levels - going out to give information to students, social norming and advertisements and the health center addressing tobacco.”

The program will also address the greek system and pass out brochures at the health center to educate students.

Physiology freshman Jennifer Barker, a nonsmoker, said she thinks the campaign is a good idea.

“It reassures them to see the benefits of quitting,” she said.

And Barker said there are other ways Olin can discourage students from continuing to smoke.

“I think reality statistics to see the number of people who die from cancer and problems caused from smoking would help,” she said.

Teddy Duckiw, a smoker, said he supports the health center’s efforts but wouldn’t agree with a campus-wide ban on smoking.

“If you’re over 18, there’s no problem with it,” he said. “I’ve been smoking for seven years.”

Still, Greenamyer said she thinks the program will have an impact on students, even if it doesn’t lead them to quit.

“We know the ultimate choice is theirs, but sometimes it’s good to have that (information) percolating in the back of your mind,” she said.

Dr. David Boechler, associate director of clinical affairs at Olin, said campus programs such as these are key to helping students who smoke.

“I’ve encouraged students to look at the site,” he said. “I’m hopeful that it’ll assist some students with quitting smoking.”


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