On the first page of a tiny booklet stuffed inside a water bottle are the words, “Congratulations. By picking up this brochure you’ve taken the first step towards leading a tobacco free life.”
The booklet is part of a pack that will be available the week of Nov. 15 in correlation with the Great American Smokeout, which is sponsored by the California Youth Advocacy Network.
According to CYAN’s website for the GAS event, the purpose of the day is to “increase awareness of tobacco-related issues on campus as well as to promote cessation services.”
“I obviously agree, smoking is not good,” 23-year-old undeclared major Brittany Ramos, a non-smoker, said of the event. “It’s bad for your lungs and puts you at risk for heart attack.”
The head nurse of Cosumnes River College, Michelle Barkley, elaborated on the subject saying that the motive behind holding a GAS event on campus was in the hopes to “create a day to kindly ask people to quit.”
In previous years, the event has been centered around an information table by the library. However, this year will be different.
Barkley and the members of the Communications 331 class are going to be walking around campus handing out change is in the air cards in the spirit of the day.
The cards contain information about resources to quit smoking, maps of the smoking areas on campus and those passing out the cards will inform smokers of the quit kits to be found in health services.
“I don’t think it’s a bad idea,” Gary Kim, 26, a bio chem major and a smoker said. “But I don’t think it’s a good idea to stop people smoking so quickly.”
While stopping cold turkey is a concern in most cases, the goal of the kit is to educate and help people move towards quitting smoking.
The kit itself is quite comprehensive, packed inside a water bottle and carrying sunflower seeds, honey sticks and gum, each a substitute for cigarettes. In combination with the treats is a brochure on taking steps to quit smoking, a California Smokers Helpline number and a cost calculator for those smokers who wish to approximate how much money they have spent on cigarettes.
Richard Dumabieas, 18, undeclared, and a smoker, said that he thinks that the kit is a good idea as it will help people learn to stop wasting money on cigarettes. Dumabieas also said he thinks it’s a good idea “cause I’m planning to quit smoking too.”
While handing out the cards, GAS volunteers will also be doing “motivational interviewing” for those students who show a genuine interest in quitting, which consists of asking purposeful questions in relation to smoking, Barkley said.
“This whole process is meant to promote health and encourage them to quit,” said Barkley.