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Student Health Service receives tobacco-cessation grant

November 5, 2013

EAU CLAIRE — Student Health Service at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has received a grant to aid in tobacco-cessation education at the university.

SHS applied for the grant through the American Lung Association in Wisconsin. The funds will be used to purchase nicotine patches that will be provided at no cost to students who wish to quit smoking, according to Katie Wilson, a health educator in Student Health Service. Students must make an appointment at SHS to make a "quit plan" and receive their patches.

"The combination of coaching and medication is proven to double clients' likelihood of quitting," Wilson said.

Some of the funds also will be used for educational outreach on issues such as campus tobacco policies and prevention.

UW-Eau Claire students' tobacco use is aligned with national averages for college students, Wilson said. According to a survey conducted in 2011, 14.5 percent of UW-Eau Claire students use cigarettes compared with 14.4 percent nationally; 6 percent of UW-Eau Claire students use smokeless tobacco compared with 4.5 percent nationally; and 8.7 percent of UW-Eau Claire students use hookah compared with 7.9 percent nationally.

Wilson said that because 99 percent of smokers and tobacco users start by age 26, prevention while in college is key.

"If we can help them avoid tobacco in college, it's unlikely they will start using when they are older," Wilson said.

UW-Eau Claire limits smoking to designated smoking areas that are marked with signs. All other areas are smoke free. View smoking policy information and a map of designated smoking areas.

For more information, contact Katie Wilson, health educator in Student Health Service,at wilsonk@uwec.edu or 715-836-2001.

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TK/DW

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