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UI student promote quitting smoking

BY CHRIS HIGGINS | NOVEMBER 06, 2014 5:00 AM

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Flanked by clouds and construction, University of Iowa students gathered at Hubbard Park to promote anti-smoking on Wednesday.

A handful of students stood by filled tables and promotional signs as part of UI Tackles Tobacco, they hoped to capture students’ attention to sign a pledge to be tobacco-free or help someone else be tobacco free.

Roughly 150 students signed a pledge, organizers estimated.

“We actually had a really good turnout,” said Danielle Ostrander, a UI senior who was involved in organization. “We wanted to spread to word. We understand that not everyone is not a smoker, so one thing we’re really trying to hit is pledging to help a friend quit.”

The College Health Education class, through the department of health and human physiology, planned the event.

“For our class, we were put into a group called the smoking group, and we were told to plan an event,” Ostrander said. “That’s exactly how much information we started with.”

In addition to signs, the organizers also set up a trivia game and had prizes such as stress balls and candy to hand out.

UI senior and organizer Danielle Serlin said it was important to draw attention to the fact that the UI campus is smoke-free.

The Daily Iowan previously reported many students are confused about or ignore the UI’s smoking provisions, which prohibit smoking in university buildings, vehicles, and on all university grounds, and university parking lots.

The number or smoking citations has decreased from several hundred to 2012 to under 50 this school year.

The organizers said UI Tackles Tobacco is a prelude to the Great American Smokeout, a nationwide event sponsored by the American Cancer Society to encourage smokers to select a date to quit.

This year’s smokeout will occur Nov. 18.

Junior Haley Hines signed the pledge.

“I signed because I think that it’s a good thing to not smoke,” she said. “It’s good for your health and it affects every aspect of your life.”

Hines said one life figure she thought of as she signed was her mother, who has quit smoking before but started again.

“I’m trying to get her to quit,” she said. “We’re a tobacco-free campus, and I think it’s really great that there are people here who are promoting that because it brings awareness to the situation. Even people who walk by and just see the signs, it might spur something up in their brains.”

Trisha Welter, adjunct instructor in the department of health and human physiology, teaches the course.

“Students seemed supportive of the event and its message,” she said. “Events like this are important to raise awareness for tobacco cessation assistance available on campus.”


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