Smokeout Set
Great American Smokeout to key OzQuits! countdown

With the college’s own smokeout set to begin Jan. 1, the OzQuits! campaign plans a big day Nov. 20 to observe the Great American Smokeout, with smoking-cessation workshops, a series of new web-based videos and numerous promotions.

OzQuits!—the college’s Tobacco Free 2015 campaign—has worked since Earth Day in April to prepare students, faculty, staff and visitors for New Year’s Day, when SUNY Oswego will join nearly 1,000 other colleges nationwide as tobacco-free and smoke-free.

“We’re coming down to the wire for a healthier and cleaner SUNY Oswego, and we want to remind smokers that they can, if they’re ready to take the step, quit smoking and other tobacco and nicotine use, and we’re here to help,” said Jerald Woolfolk, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management.

The Oswego County Health Department will present workshops on the main campus on Thursday, Nov. 20, for those preparing to quit. Smokers, chewers, electronic-cigarette users and others may attend to explore reasons to stop, identify their personal motivation and confidence level, recognize and address barriers to quitting, develop a cessation plan and learn about available resources.

Workshop registration is online at oswego.edu/ozquits under the “Preparing to Quit Smoking” workshops link. Those interested may choose sessions from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 133 or 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Room 143 of the Marano Campus Center.

The workshops go hand-in-hand with cessation resources available in Mary Walker Health Center, through the county Health Department and through 1-800-NYQUITS, the state’s help line, said Donna Jerrett, a member of the Clean Air Committee and a registered nurse in charge of the health center’s tobacco-cessation program.

“We encourage anyone on campus to visit or call the health center to explore what it takes to beat this addiction,” Jerrett said. “It has been done and, with help, others can do it, too.”

Raising awareness

As with President Deborah F. Stanley’s launch of Tobacco Free 2015 on April 22, the Clean Air Committee will join dozens of student volunteers to raise awareness across the college for the start of the tobacco-free, smoke-free policy and the reasons for it.

Appearances by “Ciggy Butts”—the chronic dupe in a series of upcoming humorous but pointed videos at oswego.edu/ozquits—will highlight multifaceted efforts from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on the Marano Campus Center mezzanine outside the arena to spread the word about the dangers of secondhand smoke and nicotine addiction. The event will include giveaways, a raffle, informational brochures and food treats.

On Nov. 18 and 19 leading up to the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, members of the Clean Air Committee and student volunteers will staff the kiosk on the Marano Campus Center concourse across from the Point from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. And Lifestyles Center volunteers will use the days preceding the smokeout to wheel their Little Red Wagon loaded with information and promotions to reach out to residence halls on campus.

Athletics and the college’s box office have joined the awareness-raising campaign, letting ice hockey fans know about the Jan. 1 policy change by way of stuffers in season ticket envelopes as well as a public-address announcement and scoreboard slide at each game in the Marano Campus Center arena. Sandwich board-style signs and digital signs have heralded the Jan. 1 policy change as well.

PHOTO CAPTION: Stash the ash—The Lifestyles Center’s Little Red Wagon will reappear and the Marano Campus Center mezzanine will once again teem with volunteers in the days leading up to Nov. 20, the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, to remind students, faculty and staff about the college’s smoking-cessation services and the Jan. 1 date for joining the tobacco-free, smoke-free ranks of 975 colleges and universities around the nation. Here, from left, students Rita Aliperti, Kaitlyn Stahl, Kindra Syphertt, Michelle Callahan, Ashley Devine and Patty Pollard prepare to head out to residence halls on Earth Day, April 22, with information and promotions for the launch of the college’s OzQuits! campaign.

(Posted: Oct 31, 2014)