Quit Smart offers help to campus smokers

Quit Smart offers help to campus smokers

January 23
00:05 2013

Daniel Bissell / Staff Writer

Since the university enacted the campus-wide smoking ban at the beginning of January, programs to help students transition into a smoke-free lifestyle are also being offered by UNT.

The program, called Quit Smart, is a series of three 90-minute classes designed to aid and educate students who wish to quit smoking. The classes began on Jan. 22 and will be held every other Thursday until Feb. 19.

Those enrolled in the classes are provided with tools to help them effectively quit smoking.

“Students who wish to quit smoking can enroll in this program to ease the transition to a smoke-free lifestyle,” said Kerry Stanhope, assistant director of outreach at the Student Health and Wellness Center. “It is a group therapy in which the students can help each other stay on track and begin living healthier lifestyles.”

The Quit Smart program also carries an admission fee of $37.

“Yes, there is a fee,” Stanhope said. “But the fee is issued to cover the resources the students will need throughout the course.”

Among those resources are an information booklet, fake cigarettes to simulate the physical act of smoking and a hypnosis CD to help the students work through the addiction, Stanhope said.

Stanhope also said the program offers extensive resources outside the classes to ensure longevity in the decision to quit.

“Smokefree.gov has a quit-text program,” Stanhope said. “For example, if someone trying to quit is having a hard craving, he or she can text ‘crave,’ and a motivational response will be sent to them. If they slip up and smoke a cigarette, they can text key words to reinforce their efforts and get them back on track.”

The classes at UNT, run by Dr. Pamela Flint of the Counseling and Testing Center, address the issues of addiction, quitting, coping strategies and receiving help, according to the Health and Wellness Center.

While students and alumni were divided in their opinions of the smoking ban, many came out in favor of programs such as Quit Smart. In a survey given out last April, over 75 percent of students and faculty were in favor of a smoke-free campus.

Psychology senior Alex Schluter said it was vital that students should be offered access to resources if they wish to quit.

“As a smoker, I certainly don’t agree with the ban,” Schluter said. “But I think it’s important that there are programs being offered that are designed to actually help students quit smoking, instead of just forcing them off campus and pretending the issue of addiction no longer exists.”

Stanhope said the program is instrumental in fulfilling the mission of minimizing health issues students may face from smoking.

“If there’s going to be a campus-wide smoking ban, there should be programs to help students accept and abide by the new policies,” Stanhope said.

After the classes end in February, they will resume on March 19 and continue until April 9. All classes are held in Chestnut Hall.

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