Florida A&M will hold its first Smoke-Out FAMU Day to bring awareness to the dangers of cigarette smoking on the Set today at noon.
The School of Allied Health Sciences is collaborating with the Big Bend Area Health Education Center, the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association to put on the event.
The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smoke-Out Day on the third Thursday of each November, and now the university will begin taking part in that tradition.
“It’s intended for smokers who plan to quit soon or that day,” said Mary Simmons, director of cardiopulmonary science. “Florida A&M University has been an advocate for bringing awareness to the campus community concerning tobacco smoke.”
Simmons said the School of Allied Health Sciences has taken the lead on the initiative to increase awareness across campus about the harmful effects of tobacco use.
The subject matter hits home for her. She lost two family members to emphysema because of cigarette smoking. Simmons believes if the attendees hear all of the aspects, it will convince them to quite.
“We’re trying to convince smokers to quit cold turkey,” Simmons said. “So we’re passing out raffles and cold turkey sandwiches. We’ll also distribute survival kits for those who choose to quit smoking.”
Simmons said she is expecting a great turnout of about 100 people, including those who want to lend their support. She said fraternities and sororities have been calling to be a part of the event as well.
Tom Diamond, a senior molecular cell biology student who is also a member of the Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., said he will attend. He said a smoke-free environment is better for everyone.
“I have people in my family with asthma, and being in a smoking environment like that makes it hard for them to breathe,” Diamond said.
The event will have a gang of activities for attendees, including fun and games depicting the harmful effects of tobacco use.