Health students join campaign to ban smoking on campus
In a creative effort to curb smoking, UH student health organizations traded students a plate of barbeque, chips and a drink for their cigarettes.
This annual national campaign, The Great American Smokeout, aims to encourage smokers to quit. The group intends to have a smoke-free campus.
“Instead of the University just banning smoking, we want it to be a student-led initiative,” said Thomas Frank, UH community and environmental health committee chairman.
The organizations were stationed at three locations between the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library and Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall, at the University Center and at the UC-Satellite on Nov. 11.
On display as part of the campaign were two pig lungs. One lung represented a healthy smoke-free lung while the other represented the lung of someone who had been smoking for 20 years. The smoker’s lung was injected with carbon, one of the main components of cigarettes, and connected to an air pump to show how each lung breathes.
The carbon-injected lung doesn’t breathe so well, said health science junior Nina Imo.
Another display item used to encourage students to give up their cigarettes was a half-full jar of tar.
“It represents the amount of tar in the lungs of someone who has been smoking a pack-a-day for a year,” Imo said.
Upon giving up their cigarette packs, students were encouraged to sign up for a quitter buddy, through the buddy system, designed to provide support from other students who chose to quit through the program and former smokers.
Frank said he hopes the buddy system will encourage students to attend cessation classes to prevent them from lighting up again.
UH rules prohibit smoking within 200 feet of a building, yet students can be found smoking outside building entrances and the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library.
“The goal of our campaign is to educate our fellow Coogs on how to quit smoking and start a support system,” Frank said.
He hopes this will encourage the University lawmakers to change the smoking rules.