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Student Health Services offers cessation classes

Student Health Services offers cessation classes
EN Photo / Rachel Iacovone

FGCU is a tobacco-free campus as of May 6. Eagles For Clean Air strives to create a healthier campus environment, so FGCU is offering a cessation program through the university’s Student Health Services.

With decreasing numbers in tobacco users within the past decade, numbers are still high among young and middle- aged adults. Better health knowledge and government intervention has helped, but 17 percent of college-aged adults, ages 17 to 24, smoke cigarettes, with that percentage increasing as one ages.

“It would be hypocritical of the school to implement this program and not offer a program to help stop tobacco addiction,” said Kristin Phillipine, the outreach coordinator at Student Health Services.

Phillipine prepared for the change by becoming a tobacco treatment specialist. The cessation program is her initiative.

“The idea was always there, but with the new program, it allows for implementation,”Phillipine said.

The program relies on a student’s readiness to quit. The eagerness must be there for the program to work.

The cessation usually begins with the picking of a quit date and then other strategies are implemented such as online courses, one-on-one counseling and nicotine replacement therapy.

With the Eagles for Clean Air, there will be no more smoking areas on campus. Even smoking in your car, parked or otherwise, is prohibited.

The idea comes from the notion that you have to be healthy to attend school; you cannot attend your classes if you’re not healthy.

Tobacco is one of the nation’s most commonly used addictive substances. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease in the U.S., and 16 million Americans are suffering from a smoking- related disease.

“The idea of student health is what needs to change,” Phillipine said. “There needs to be more value on overall health and healthcare.”

Visit http://www.fgcu.edu/cleanair/cessation-resources.html for more information about FGCU’s cessation program.

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