Faculty of the Allied Health department will initiate a “Kick Butts Day” event on Thursday, March 14, which will include a day of music, fun filled games, and food from local vendors. The purpose of the event is to educate students on the harmful effects of tobacco and chemicals found in alternative tobacco products.
Years ago, the Allied Health Department created a movement to make FAMU a tobacco free campus which was a success last year. Director of Cardiopulmonary Science and allied health professor Marry Simmons recalled the victory.
“[In] June when the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the university to be a tobacco free – smoke free campus,” Simmons said.
The students and faculty were elated by the new initiative because it will assist those who smoke stop smoking. If students are caught smoking on campus, they will be directed to a representative in Allied Health to educate the student on the harmful effects of smoke and then will be directed to the Student Health Center where nicotine patches will be provided to help them quit. After, they will be sent to the quit-line connected to the Department of Health.
For years, tobacco companies have been under fire for selling tobacco products to the public, knowing the health risks that follows. In recent years, companies have found alternative smoking devices such as E-cigarettes, vapors and hookah which is advertised as a healthier smoking choice.
According to Simmons, there was research done between all HBCU’s to investigate how often students smoke on campus. The results showed there was an increase in smoking on HBCU’s campuses, and FAMU was one of the campuses to take the initiative to become smoke free and tobacco free campus from a grant received from the American Cancer Society.
“We held different workshops and seminars to bring awareness to the harmful effects of tobacco smoke,” Simmons said.
“Kick Butt Day” will be an announcement event for the campus to inform the student body, FAMU is a tobacco and smoke free campus. Some of the guest’s speakers will include Cynthia Hughes-Harris who is the Dean of Allied Health and Kandy T. Woods who is an Allied Health professor. Guests can also expect special guests who will speak on the new initiative.
Simmons explained there will be something for everyone.
“This will be a great event for those who smoke and who do not smoke,” Simmons said. “One because it’s going to be educational and two for those who do smoke, we will have things there that can lead them to a path to quit smoking.”
Woods urged people who use alternative smoking devices such as E-cigarettes, vape pens and hookah to know these devices cause harmful effects to the body because of the chemicals found in the smoke.
“I am a respiratory therapist, so my specialization is awareness of having a healthy respiratory system,” Woods said. “Smoke is smoke and anything that is a foreign object to your body is hazardous and dangerous.”
During the Kick Butt event, Woods is determined to bring awareness to the harmful effects of alternative tobacco products, hookah being one of the many.
“One concentration area we want to place emphasis on is hookah, we are not sure if everybody understands some of the side effects, like the cross contamination that can occur with hookah because it is promoted as a celebratory act,” Woods said.
The Kick Butt event is a great way to become educated on tobacco products and alternative smoking products, which will result in a healthier and more productive life.