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How to inspire students to quit smoking?

 
 
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 04:43 am
There is a strange (to me) fad at the small university where I teach. It's a small liberal arts college, 60 students total -- so everybody knows everybody.

At some schools, students hug a lot. At others, they wear smiley buttons or stripey socks or whatnot.
At our school, they smoke. Nearly all of them. Those that were non-smokers start within weeks of joining the school. I'd say two thirds of them are smokers. I find it strange in this day and age when it's supposed to be fading out -- yes, even in Central and Eastern Europe.

They have a ping pong table, darts, nice new computer and study room, but if anything it only gets worse - it is THE socializing thing at the school. We are negotiating a swimming pool access for our students, I have a movie club going.... but none of those tend to break this habbit down whatsoever.

Any tips? Not that I have to break it... they are adults and responsible for self. But it is a result of silly peer pressure and if something non-invasive and positive can be done, then why not try.
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 06:05 am
@dagmaraka,
No smoking on the grounds indoor or outdoor and no smoking at any school event to start with. The no smoking ban encluding campus living quarters and enforce all the above with heavy fines

Get in a few speakers who are now enjoying the effect of smoking such as no longer having a voice box and needing to used a piece of electronic to talk.

Hand out a sheet for new students on the medical effects of smoking and how giving into peer pressure can cause a shorter and far less enjoyable life span in regard to smoking and other such behaviors.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 06:25 am
Remind them that when they DO decide to quit, the withdrawal can be worse than heroin addiction withdrawal.

Adolescent smoking is directly related to depression, so any activites that help people laugh or exercise can help.

This is a real problem in our society and a hard thing to break.
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 06:59 am
@sullyfish6,
This is a real problem in our society and a hard thing to break.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
It is a real pain in the rear for those of us who are bright enough not to smoke also.

Before the law was change in my local area to ban smoking in most businesses, trying to used my company break room to eat was not enjoyable as the few smokers did not care if their smoking was annoying the rest of us.

I had a petition sign by 90 percents of the employees asking for a smoking ban in the break room that the company then extended to the whole building.

One result was the smokers would hung out by the door and once even set fire to the building loading dock!

Now there is a complete ban on smoking any where on company property.

dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 07:04 am
@BillRM,
there is no smoking inside. they smoke outside, not on school premises.

we have a good friendly atmosphere at the school. i don't want to lecture them. i'd rather find some creative ways of socializing that will diminish the lure of the smoking circle.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 07:05 am
@dagmaraka,
dagmaraka wrote:
How to inspire students to quit smoking?

This may be a stupid question, but has the faculty quit smoking to set an example? You yourself were smoking the last time I saw you.

Another potentially stupid question: Why do you want them to quit smoking? If it's a college, your students are grown-ups just as you are, and the smoking doesn't affect what they're learning in your college. So, if smoking is their thing, why not let them smoke?
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 08:30 am
@dagmaraka,
Not sure - but this definately hits a personal spot with me. My dad has been fighting lung cancer this past year or so. He did quit smoking - unfortunately it was after years and years of smoking so he quit too late.

I like the idea of those speaking who are reaping the "benefits" of years of smoking. Even having some one like my dad that had quit smoking, but too late. I know some probably figure - oh I'll quit after college (ie so they can be part of the social scene in the short term) and then realize it isn't so easy to quit - why it took my dad so long.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 08:59 am
@dagmaraka,
Focus on the stench, the incredible stench that smoking produces, the way it clings to your clothes, etc. Of course, smokers can't smell it, but non-smokers will always know.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 09:11 am
Quote:
So, if smoking is their thing, why not let them smoke?

Same could be said about cutting and self-mutilation. There are parallels.

Dag, I have no idea why people are attracted to smoking , but I think young people are more prone to think about their wallets than the fact they are making themselves stinky, yellow, wrinkly and long term sick. Therefore, I think the best approach is from an economic perspective. The message would depend on the cost of cigarettes where you are and the cost of youth prized consumer goods. In my area cigarettes cost $8 a pack, so if you smoke a pack a day you are spending $2920 a year on your addiction. If you figure a new car costs $20,000 it means in 6.8 years you could buy a new car with cash- or you could have a huge pile of empty cigarette cartons. This campaign could be accompanied by a picture of the pile of cartons next to a picture of a new car. It could also be done with a smaller item like an iphone which costs about$400. In less than one year a person could save up for an iphone or just have a pile of stinky butts. How many hours do they have to work to support their addiction is good question to ask them. Is their first hour of work everyday going to be spent on something they are addicted to? It makes young people think about what they might value more cigarettes or... (fill in the blank).

The one hygiene campaign I remember was where a really good looking guy goes to kiss a good looking girl and her mouth turns into a dirty ashtray. It must have been effective because I can still recall it over 30 years later.

Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 11:31 am
Have a series of lung cancer survivors give talks to the students about what it is like to have lung cancer. Have some doctors bring in some medical specimens of what a smoker's human lungs look like compared to a non-smoker's lungs. Then have a vet bring in the lungs of a pet that lived with a smoker versus a pet that lived with a non-smoker.


After that, have them clean the windows in the areas where they smoke and hang the dirty rags on the wall for a few weeks as a reminder of what they heard, saw and removed.

Then, talk about the financial part of it as GW suggested and talk about how much profit the cigarette companies and advertising companies made while urging them to burn up their hard earned dollars in a puff of smoke and making themselves and others so unhealthy.

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 11:58 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
Focus on the stench, the incredible stench that smoking produces, the way it clings to your clothes, etc.

Not much of a problem if they smoke outside, as Dasha said they do.
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 12:05 pm
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:
Same could be said about cutting and self-mutilation. There are parallels.

True. And my answer would be the same if adult college students bonded while leisurely cutting themselves. (Somehow that sounds very theoretical to me, but anyway ....) If the college offers plenty of other activities to bond over, as Dasha's college does, and the students still opt for cutting, let them! Their bodies, their choice.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 12:25 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

engineer wrote:
Focus on the stench, the incredible stench that smoking produces, the way it clings to your clothes, etc.

Not much of a problem if they smoke outside, as Dasha said they do.


their clothes and skin and hair will still stink
you don't have to be in an enclosed space for the stench to develop
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 12:44 pm
I assume Thomas smokes.
Yes, you can smell it on people even if they smoke outside. I worked with people for years who went outside the building to smoke and came back stinking. The breath thing is always there no matter how many Altoids they pop. Plus, because they smoke in their home all their clothing reeks.
Thomas
 
  4  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 12:49 pm
@dagmaraka,
Eh.... I reread my posts in this thread, and somehow they all sound like libertarian agitprop to me now. I didn't mean them to come out this way. My main concern is a different one: I'm getting a sense here that you, Dasha, are worrying too much about problems that needn't be yours to worry about.

Your college already gives your students plenty of opportunities for socializing in a smoke-free environment. It provides a friendly atmosphere where nobody has to stress-smoke (which is what Green Witch's cutting would be a parallel to). A mere month and a half into your new job, you're contributing yet another alternative, your film club. Having met you in real life, I am certain that you're making the college's friendly atmosphere even friendlier. So nothing you do encourages them to smoke (except, possibly, the example the faculty sets). And many things you do already encourage them not to smoke.

If, in spite of your efforts, your students still choose to smoke, I think there comes a point where you just need to let go and leave good enough alone. A point where you need to remind yourself that you are not their mom and they are not teenagers anymore. They are grown-ups who can make their own mistakes and learn from them. Don't let your concern for their health get the best of you after you've already done more than your job.

Does that make sense?
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 12:50 pm
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:
I assume Thomas smokes.

You assume wrongly. Only my sister does.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 12:55 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
If, in spite of your efforts, your students still choose to smoke, I think there comes a point where you just need to let go and leave good enough alone. A point where you need to remind yourself that you are not their mom and they are not teenagers anymore. They are grown-ups who can make their own mistakes and learn from them. Don't let your concern for their health get the best of you after you've already done more than your job.
Yes I agree, browbeating will get nowhere.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 01:00 pm
@dyslexia,
Fortunately she knows that.
Dasha wrote:
But it is a result of silly peer pressure and if something non-invasive and positive can be done, then why not try.

Of course, my first suggestion doesn't fit the bill either. If there's faculty that smokes and Dasha suggests to them they quit, I doubt they would see that as non-invasive. Razz
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 01:52 pm
@Green Witch,
I agree - you always know the smokers at work - even though you are only allowed to smoke outside - just the simple odor.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 01:54 pm
@Thomas,
I look at it that she cares enough about their welfare. Why wouldn't you want to encourage healthy behaviour? If there is some way.....
0 Replies
 
 

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