Warrington campus hosts tobacco intervention, teaches dangers of smoking

Home 2008 archive Warrington campus hosts tobacco intervention, teaches dangers of smoking
Katie Coseo

Published: Monday, September 22, 2008

Warrington campus students were given the opportunity to attend a tobacco intervention, Sept. 17, in the Student Affairs building.

Sara Harrison, Youth Tobacco Program specialist for West Florida’s Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), held the presentation, which gave tips persuading caregivers to talk to their patients about their smoking habits.

“You don’t want to be confrontational. Be empathetic; be supportive,” said Harrison as she explained that many smokers are now “closet smokers” who may feel threatened when opening up about their habit.

Some patients may want to quit smoking, but feel as if they can’t — that’s when AHEC comes into play. AHEC has a simple system for helping people quit smoking. If someone wants to quit, all they need to do is fill out a “Quitline” application that is faxed to the AHEC offices. AHEC then will arrange to meet with the person and help make a personalized plan to help. The plan may include nicotine replacements, meetings and classes provided by AHEC.

Jacinta Straus, coordinator of Student and Leadership Activities, said anyone interested in filling out a Quitline application can contact her by calling 484-2293, sending an e-mail to jstraus@pjc.edu or going to her office at Student Affairs, building 3600

“We’ll be working to get [the applications] out to all student affair offices,” said Straus.

Warrington campus students wishing to spread the word about AHEC and the dangers of smoking can sign up for special training and become facilitators for the program. After students are trained, they will be able to go out to middle schools to teach about the dangers of smoking, and each PJC student involved will be awarded $60 for the program or club they represent. This program will give Warrington campus clubs a great opportunity for fundraising as well as “help AHEC complete their mission,” pointed out Dr. Williams, Warrington campus provost.

Nursing student, Natasha Dunson, who attended the meeting was surprised about the new information and is considering taking the training classes to help AHEC.

“I’m always interested in broadening my horizons,” said Dunson.