UTSA hosts Great American Smokeout Nov. 17
By Tim Brownlee
Assistant Director of Public Affairs
(Nov. 16, 2005)--The UTSA community is invited to participate in the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sombrilla Plaza and the University Center at the 1604 Campus, and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Frio Street Building commons at the Downtown Campus.
Created 29 years ago by the American Cancer Society, the national event is an opportunity for smokers to give up smoking for one day and to increase awareness of smoking as a health hazard to smokers and recipients of second-hand smoke. At UTSA, educational materials and other give-aways on smoking cessation will be distributed, along with information on the UTSA smoking policy. Additionally, free blood pressure screenings will be available.
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The theme for this year's event is "The 20 Foot Rule," to inform the UTSA community about the policy requiring smoking to take place at least 20 feet from building entrances. The entrances of UTSA buildings will be taped off to emphasize the policy.
Activities include D.J. Josh Stone, who will play music at the University Center, along with appearances of Rowdy Roadrunner from noon to 2 p.m. at the 1604 and Downtown campuses, a 3 p.m. smoke-free walk across the 1604 Campus starting at the Sombrilla Plaza fountain and "Getting Ready to Quit" classes.
According to the American Cancer Society, people who quit smoking, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke. An estimated 44.7 million adults are former smokers in the United States. Among current smokers, 70 percent report they want to quit. Quitting smoking substantially decreases the risk of lung, laryngeal, esophageal, oral, pancreatic, bladder and cervical cancers. Quitting lowers the risk for major diseases including coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
Participating sponsors for the UTSA activities include Student Health Services, Assistant Professor Georgia Polacek and her community health class, and Nicholas Johnson of the occupational safety office.
For more information, contact Kathleen Ceresoli at (210) 458-4142.
UTSA smoking policy
In order to achieve an environment as close to smoke-free as possible, the Human Resources Committee recommended and the University Assembly approved this UTSA smoking policy:
Smoking is prohibited in indoor locations, in all university vehicles and within 20 feet of the entrance to any UTSA building. Violations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis in accordance with established disciplinary policies of the university.
- American Cancer Society, 1-877-YES-QUIT (trained counselors to help with smoking cessation)
- Freedom from Smoking online course
- Step-By-Step self-directed smoking cessation program: e-mail Kathleen.Ceresoli@utsa.edu
- Stress management -- Counseling Services, (210) 458-4140 (1604 Campus), (210) 458-2930 (Downtown Campus)
- Fitness, nutrition and preventing weight gain consultations -- Recreation Center, (210) 458-7575
Free "Getting Ready to Quit" classes
To register, call 458-4142.
1604 Campus: Student Health Services, Recreation and Wellness Center Room 1.502:
Thursday, Nov. 17, 4-5 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 21, 5-6 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 28, 1-2 p.m.
Downtown Campus: Health and Counseling Center, Buena Vista Street Building Room 1.308:
Thursday, Dec. 1, noon-1 p.m.