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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Student health fee increases to aid smoking cessation

Though the SUNY smoking ban has been put on hold, efforts are underway at SBU to aid students in quitting smoking. (KATE CHRISA / THE STATESMAN)

As the legislation that aimed to ban tobacco on New York State campuses by Jan. 1, 2014 was put on hold, the $1.50 increase fee per semester for the Student Health Services will still cover nicotine cessation products, counseling and workshops for student smokers in addition to other programs, according to Program Evaluator for the Center for Prevention and Outreach Ahmed Belazi.

“As a public health person, I would say that I’m always interested in being creative about the tools that I have available to me [for solving public health issues],” Belazi said. “And while policy and enforcement are an important set of tools, they’re not necessarily the most powerful in and of themselves.”

For Belazi, campus culture is most useful in addressing public health issues. These include supporting students who want to quit smoking or are in the process of doing so and letting non-smokers know that Stony Brook University has community expectations concerning tobacco use.

One way the university is providing support is by offering free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products for students who are trying to quit smoking. Health Educator and Peer Education Program Coordinator Kathleen Valerio from Student Health Services said NRT products include gum, lozenges and patches.

A two-part workshop series open to smokers and non-smokers will be held from Oct. 10 to Oct. 17. Its goal is to provide “information about the health/environmental impact of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use with links to resources that are both on and off campus,” Valerio said.

Valerio trained in the Suffolk County Department of Health’s “Learn to be…Tobacco Free” program, which included techniques and guidelines from the “Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence” United Staes Department of Health and Human Services program. This content is shared during the BASICs workshop.

Campus Residences will also circulate flyers in efforts to cease tobacco use on campus.

Belazi said these efforts are being made because the university does not “necessarily want to wait for the ban” before implementing the same changes.

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  • K

    Kevin FxrOct 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Tobacco Control and their social engineering game plan, described by Burke in 1939

    Inborn dignity;

    Public Health professionals, Medical experts, Public Health officials and any number of ways they choose to describe themselves.

    Common to the Superfluous attitude throughout is the query when challenged, asking their opponent “who are you I have credentials” Or “what do you have that can match the entire medical profession, or the cannon of evidence”

    The non smoker is elevated to a station above or more valuable than smokers only to capture the egos of those willing to give up their autonomy, in exchange for comfort The “protected” Class

    “It is usual to define a national ideal or archetype, or class of citizen as a measuring stick by which all other types of people are to be judged”

    Projection device;

    The smoker is the seat of all the evils of the world and all that is evil, uncomfortable or even inconvenient, should always require pointing in their direction.

    No discussion is allowed with smokers in relation to inclusion or compromise, they owe all and they are arrogant if they expect any small concession. All complaints are handled by attacking the person, now universally described as “shills to big tobacco”. Abuse of innocent people by wide-brush, is legitimized, with claims that smoking is indefensible, in the damage smokers do to the helpless children.

    Anti-smokers made ashtrays all but illegal, then started complaining about cigarette litter. Smokers huddled around entrances became inconvenient only because they were forced out doors. Costs of Healthcare are dwarfed easily by cigarette taxes and the costs of advocacy campaigns, promoting divided communities Promotions that are all well beyond what could on a normal day, only excuse placing a sign on the door if equal application of rights and the law were ever considered important. Liberal they are not.

    “Projection devices are scapegoating tactics used to personalize the initially vague threats posed by the common enemy. At a social level, the internal problems of unemployment and poor trading performances are directly attributed to the activities of the “identified others”.”

    Symbolic rebirth;

    Non smokers are promised immortality if only the smokers could be eliminated from society. As if smoking related diseases would no longer exist were it not for smoking.

    “Wink and others identify symbolic rebirth rhetoric as allowing a people to aspire towards a new Utopian society; when the scapegoat is eliminated, a rebirth will occur. The morally negative action of elimination is justified by a positive goal of symbolic rebirth, where all ideals are realized. It will only occur once in the lifetime.”

    Commercial use;

    Nothing more closely describes this activity than SAMMEC. The costs of smoking. All expense and no offset, is recognized even after smoking taxes rise to levels well above any costs, while ignoring the fact smokers all pay an equal share of healthcare as well. In the States with the MSA smokers are charged a third time, for what is coined a “universal system” created when the majority of the population smoked while in the current promotions, didn’t exist until smokers started taking advantage of the system, last week.

    “Commercial use rhetoric offers a non-economic interpretation of economic problems that appeals to the class that will benefit the most if the competition is removed.”

  • K

    Kevin FxrOct 6, 2013 at 5:58 am

    I find it reprehensible that the manufacturers responsible for international anti-smoker policies and hate campaigns, are influencing students in this way. After a decade of influence pedaling both inside and outside government agencies and promotions promising to “double your chances of quitting” Non industry funded research has shown that the actual figures have missed that mark consistently by a significant degree and the only research showing any efficacy at all, is by placebo trials which are consistent with fraud and speak volumes of the researchers who presented them. A Gallop poll in July destroyed the Nicotine gum claims, causing a gullible Obama for one, to loose his hair to to his new habit. The question of smokers who were successful was to what you attribute your success? 48% said sheer determination and only 1% suggested they were aided by the gum. Overall 92% are successful because they did it on their own with all the alternatives combined responsible for a paltry 8% of success rates. The Public health message used to be “you can do it” Influence and a Billion dollars a year in promotions afforded to the media darling charities and medical institutions changed that message to “you can’t do it on your own” With efficacy rates so dismal these products described as medication are probably among the worst medications ever allowed for sale to the public. If smoking is harmful these products are inflicting serious harms by the levels that they fail when people are trying to quit. One could go so far as to say they are a greater influence in promoting smoking than the addiction to smoking itself. The numbers bear this out admirably. What is not well known to those being duped, is that the FDA hired Johnson and Johnson employees and Robert Wood Johnson board members as a completion of Obama’s promise to not allow Lobby groups to influence his government. The truth remains a matter of what you can make people believe, while leaving science and education of our youth, suffering and in deed tortured, by the neglect of those who value a fast dollar more, than public confidence.

  • C

    chrisOct 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Do non-smokers and smokers who don’t want to quit have to pay for this? Seems like a cash cow for the “smoking cessation” industry.