Amid the debate of regulating cigarette smoking in the light of its growing popularity among teens, a report suggests that the initiatives taken by several colleges in the US for tobacco-free college campuses have resulted in checking rate of smoking publicly.
The recent spike in tobacco-free college campuses and smoking bans in outdoor spaces have put the student smokers in a tough position.
The number of college campuses that have adopted 100% smoke-free policies have more than doubled from July 2011 through July 2013 and now includes at least 1,182 campuses, says a report by Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR).
According to the report, some universities like Emory University in Atlanta, that adopted a tobacco-free campus in January 2012 and completed the transition this August, are offering a range of cessation resources. Among these are individual consultations through the Office of Health Promotion or Student Health and Counseling Services and behavioral classes.
“My work focuses on helping students gain an understanding of both the biological and psychological dimensions of their use. We discuss the powerful rituals that seem especially connected to tobacco use —the cigarette with that first cup of coffee or the breaks that provide social contact for them,” Bannister says. “We identify people who will support the student in their new tobacco-free lifestyle … also talk about relapse prevention for the future.”
Bannister acknowledges that students have reported that it is difficult to commit to the eight-week program, but he says five to eight students seek his help to quit smoking each year, and most of them are successful.
Bannister recommends three methods for those students trying to kick the habit on campuses that lack smoking-cessation resources:
1. Talk with your campus health professionals. They can often refer you to off-campus resources, such as county health departments that offer smoking-cessation options.
2. Check your health insurance, as many insurers have programs that are open to their customers. They often will involve online classes or telephone coaching.
3. The American Lung Association offers its Freedom from Smoking course in a free online format.