Smoking is one of the most widespread health issues on college campuses today, and many are turning to smoke-free policies as a result. Why not increase awareness of the health risks and have a hand in helping students stop for good? One college in the city of Bath, England did just that with a unique Stoptober campaign during the month of October as summarized in the following excerpt written and published by NOW Bath News Team. You could easily repurpose the idea to meet your students' needs; check it out!
Students from City of Bath College are trying to give up the habit after joining a national campaign to quit smoking for 28 days. They have signed up to the Stoptober campaign to stop smoking for four weeks to dramatically improve their health prospects while saving money.
They can attend weekly stop smoking sessions, where they can seek advice from a trained adviser and access patches and other nicotine replacement therapy. The 28-day smoke-free challenge has been launched this week by the Student Participation and Well-Being Team in conjunction with Sirona Care & Health, the organisation responsible for community health care in Bath. Joanne Fuller, a stop smoking advisor at Sirona, said she was pleased with the “very positive reaction” to the campaign.
She said: “Giving up smoking isn’t easy, it’s a slow process and you have to take things day-by-day, but we will be helping students every step of the way. We understand there can be peer pressure to smoke but we are offering structured support to help them quit. If someone can quit for four weeks, they are much more likely to continue as a non-smoker.”
An awareness stand in the Macaulay building gave students the chance to try a carbon monoxide breathalyser test to show them the impact of smoking on their bodies. So far, at least 25 students, who smoke from 10 to 30 cigarettes a day, have signed up for the challenge. They each received a starter pack including freebies such a ‘quit calendar’ to tick off each day they have gone without cigarettes and a ‘stop smoking, start saving’ money box.
Level 3 Business student Simeon Taylor, 19, said: “This campaign is a really good idea as it motivates people who want to stop smoking. Some students may not want to do it on their own, so this campaign gives them strength in numbers.”
Stoptober is running in conjunction with the College’s innovative smoking prevention campaign that challenges the student assumption that most of their peers smoke. A recent college survey of 325 students revealed they thought 52 per cent of their peers smoked when in reality only 28 per cent of students are smokers. The campaign – which has the key message that ‘seven out of ten students don’t smoke’ – aims to change common perceptions about smoking habits.
Student Engagement Officer Nicole Walters said: “The first four weeks of no smoking are always the hardest but if you make it through that, you have just about cracked it. We are offering students a supportive environment to stop smoking. If you stop smoking at a young age it pretty much eliminates the related health problems in later life. The more students we can get to stop the better."