Great American Smokeout hosts information sessions about tobacco use


Kent State students participate in the student breakout session for the third annual Great American Smokeout in the Kent State Student Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016.

Nicole Zahn

Each year on the third Thursday in November, smokers across the nation are encouraged to take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout movement.

The movement provides those seeking to quit smoking with information and resources, and encourages them to quit smoking for 24 hours.

With Kent State becoming a smoke-free, tobacco-free university in 2017, the Great American Smokeout implemented information and resources to faculty, staff and students about the effects tobacco can have on the body and others around them.

The Smokeout hosted a student breakout session from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Kent Stat State Student Center that presented an overview of the Freedom from Smoking program.

“We host this breakout session to discuss the effects smoking has on an individual, and the Freedom from Smoking program hosted by the American Lung Association,” said Sierra Baker, a heath educator for the University Health Services.

The Freedom from Smoking program is a program to help people quit smoking. During the breakout sessions, Baker informed students about the program at Kent State and how to get involved.

The sessions also discussed topics including effects tobacco has on the body, as well as the effects of second and thirdhand smoke.

“We also created this session to provide impacting information to those who may not be ready to quit,” Baker said.

Prior to the session, the Great American Smokeout representatives hosted booths on the second floor of the Kent Student Center, with informational pamphlets and resources about how to quit smoking and encourage others to quit.

The student breakout session was audience engaging. After providing an informational slideshow to the attendees about the effects of smoking, Baker engaged the audience to talk about how they feel when it comes to stress.

Many said “angry, sad, annoyed”. This activity presented a realization about how it may feel when it comes to quitting tobacco.

“I came to this session because I’m trying to get my brother to quit smoking,” said Lauren Cavanaugh, a junior zoology major. “I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m glad I came because I got a lot of good information that I never knew that I can now share with him.”

Some of the facts presented that created a gasping shock among students were that “one in 5 deaths in America are caused by cigarette smoking.”

“I had no idea about some of these statistics,” Cavanaugh said. “It was really scary actually because I know there are so many people in this world who smoke so much throughout the day.”

The Great American Smokeout and student breakout session were created in an effort to get people to stop smoking as soon as possible.

“This movement is something we can do to really prevent cancer,” said Alexandra Houser-Vukoder, director of corporate communications at the American Cancer Society. “It has also helped bring about multiple smoke free programs and laws.”

This December will mark the 10th anniversary of Ohio being a smoke-free state.

Nicole Zahn is the rec sports / wellness reporter, contact her at [email protected].