EKU demonstrated support for the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on Nov. 16 with events at the Powell Student Center and Jones Building. More than 700 Eastern students, staff and faculty participated at the Powell Corner location, which included more than 500 campus community members signing a banner in support of EKU’s Tobacco-Free, Vape-Free policy, enacted in 2014.
The annual event occurs on the third Thursday of November with a focus on encouraging current smokers to make a plan to quit smoking. EKU’s event featured cold turkey subs, a photo booth, long-sleeve dry-fit shirts, and giveaways. Attendees at the two locations also had a chance to interact with peer-educators and wellness champs from EKU’s Student Wellness and Employee Wellness offices. The EKU Department of Environmental Health Science provided attendees an opportunity to measure their carbon monoxide levels using the breath-based Smokerlyzer device, which shows how direct and second-hand smoke impact their ability to respire.
Smoking remains the leading cause of most cancers in the U.S. and Kentucky. Kentucky continues to lead the nation in the annual rate of both new cancer cases and lung cancer cases. Jason Marion, associate professor of environmental health, noted that “smoking is hard to quit and is easier said than done. Ninety-five percent of persons who get hooked started before they were 21 years old. So our campus helps prevent the addiction, but we still have an important duty as a campus community and as Colonel family members in terms of supporting those who need the most help in quitting.”
Vishal Nathu, graduate assistant in campus recreation and master of public health student in environmental health and industrial hygiene, coordinated this year’s event along with Patrese Nesbitt, health services manager, Student Success; Tammy Cornett, communications coordinator, Human Resources; and Marion.
Photos from the event at Powell are available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/146562351@N07/collections/72157687631964042/.
For more information about EKU’s Tobacco-Free, Vape-Free Policy, visit tobaccofree.eku.edu.