Tobacco information session hopes to open dialouge

Shannon Columb, Staff Writer

The topic of the University of Whitewater-Wisconsin becoming one of the 25 tobacco-free UW campuses is a controversial one.

The proposed plan didn’t pass last year because only one of the four governing bodies supported it, even though surveys showed student support.

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, University Health and Counseling Services will be hosting a Tobacco Information Session in the University Center Ballroom from 6 to 7 p.m. The event aims to create an open-dialogue among students and faculty, about the possibility of UW-Whitewater becoming a tobacco-free campus.

“We want to hear the issues and concerns, so perhaps in the future, if the policy does get passed and becomes implemented, these concerns are addressed,” Kate Ksobiech, a panelist at the event, said.

The session will allow attendees to ask questions concerning the policy and hear from a group of panelists.

“We’re not taking away one’s right to smoke here, or to use, we’re just asking that you respect nonusers, potentially by, in the proposed policy, to go to the edges of campus,” Wellness Educator, Erica Fischer, said.

According to a report done last year, three percent of UW-W students smoke on a daily basis. Even though the use of cigarettes is on the decline, the use of e-cigarettes is steadily increasing. There is still a lot that is unknown about the health effects of e-cigarettes and Fischer advises students to avoid using them.

This social habit of smoking can turn into an addiction. UHCS offers students and staff free counseling in tobacco cessation, for those looking to quit.

“We know a campus policy isn’t a holy grail solution, but when partnered with education and free cessation opportunities, we move towards a very healthy campus community,” stated Fischer.

Thursday, Nov.17 is the Great American Smokeout, a national movement created by the American Cancer Society that encourages smokers to quit. In their efforts to help smokers quit on campus, Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) and Communicating Health in Practice (CHIP) will have a table in the University Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.