Patrick Glover, a history senior, tried to kick a smoking habit he’s had since he was 13 and attended a Tobacco Cessation Information Session Monday for help. He was the only student to attend.
The session was held from 12-1 p.m. in Student Health Services Room 118 as a part of the Cal State Long Beach Breathe Campaign’s outreach to student smokers. It aimed to introduce students to resources to quit smoking that are available for them through the health center, and it was the first of its kind.
Glover said that besides abstaining from 2006-2010, smoking has been a particular challenge for him.
“You go without [a cigarette] for a couple hours and you just feel like you’re gonna vomit or feel sick,” Glover said. “It’s horrible. It’s annoying.”
He said he hoped to learn a more successful method than his previous attempts.
“I drink a ton of energy drinks or Mountain Dew or Rockstar or Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke,” Glover said. “I’ve done the vaping crap, and I don’t even know if it’s worse for you than smoking.”
The Breathe Campaign is an educational outreach campaign that officially launched phase one earlier this semester. It aims to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco and the change to campus policy for a tobacco-free campus.
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Program Coordinator Heidi Ortiz said the cessation information session was a necessary step as a result of the Breathe Campaign.
“We felt it necessary to amp up the cessation services by offering or making the cessation aids, the medications, more readily available.” Ortiz said.
Pamphlets, flyers and literature were laid out for the attendee along with nicotine patches and gum. Also available were bags called “quit kits,” full of relief tools to ease common situations that trigger cravings.
“Some of the items that you’ll see in the quit kit include a stress ball, some chewing gum, mints, and some literature on quitting successfully and local resources that they want to contact,” Ortiz said.
However, despite outreach to students and faculty through flyers, postings and classroom visits, no one other than Glover were in attendance.
Ortiz said that the actual population of student smokers is still small. She said that students who do smoke may prefer one-on-one counseling or perhaps don’t identify themselves as addicted and in need of assistance.
“They might not identify themselves as being a smoker, like ‘Okay, yeah, I do smoke but it’s not that bad,’ or ‘It’s not that serious;’ those are possibilities as well,” Ortiz said.
Glover received guidance and information from Ortiz and a health education staff member, Allison Borwell.
Ortiz said Student Health Services would continue to host outreach events through the Breathe Campaign because of the necessity.
“This is the spring semester so students will graduate, there will be [a] new incoming wave of freshmen and I think it’s critical to provide this information early on,” Ortiz said. “So they not only receive information about what’s available on campus but also with the student health center.”
CSULB will host a lecture on addiction for faculty and students with Dr. Victor DeNoble March 16 from 4-6 p.m. at the Karl Anatol Conference Center. DeNoble is credited as being one of the first whistleblowers on the inner workings of the tobacco industry.