UWSP Rolls Out New Tobacco Cessation Programs

To prepare for a tobacco-free campus in 2014, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point introduced programs to support students, faculty and staff in their attempts to quit tobacco usage.

The newest program introduced by Employee Wellness is called Freedom From Smoking. It is an eight-week tobacco cessation program designed to help smokers quit in a supportive environment at their chosen pace.

The Freedom From Smoking model comes from the American Lung Association.

The American Lung Association’s website said, “Because no single cessation technique is effective for all smokers, the program includes a comprehensive variety of evidence-based cessation techniques.”

There are four people trained in the program at Student Health Services and also several at Employee Wellness.

This program is being offered to any UWSP employee or family member for free. It is permissible for employees to attend during work hours so long as they receive permission from their supervisors.

Freedom From Smoking began Tuesday, March 25 and will continue each week until May 13. It will be held in room 101B of the George Stein building.

In order to sign up, one must contact Employee Wellness at empwell@uwsp.edu or ext. 4614

There are also other opportunities available for students to kick their tobacco habits.

“Since this policy was announced, we always ask our patients if they smoke and tell them about the options that we offer,” said Licensed Practical Nurse Sue Pederson.

These options include individual support and counseling with trained professionals, free or reduced cost nicotine replacement products, prescription medication and support groups.

The Tobacco Committee’s progress is well underway after its first meeting on Feb. 10, and they will continue to hold weekly meetings.

“We are currently still in the information-gathering stage. We are looking at experiences at UW-Stout and UW-River Falls where tobacco-free policies have been implemented. We are determining what works and what does not,” said communication professor and chair of the Tobacco Committee, Jim Haney.

The group, consisting of five students, several faculty and staff, and resource personnel are working towards their goal of developing sound recommendations by the beginning of May to present to Chancellor Bernie Patterson.

“We are working toward the goal of this policy to try to make the campus healthier and safer over time for students, faculty and staff, and visitors,” Haney said. “With the help of our new tobacco cessation programs, we are changing the culture of our campus by educating people about the benefits of a tobacco-free lifestyle.”

MyKayla Hilgart

mhilg13@uwsp.edu

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