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Morning Sun
  • Kicking the habit with help

  • A group of Pittsburg State University students is trying to help smokers kick the habit.

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  • A group of Pittsburg State University students is trying to help smokers kick the habit.
    Gorillas in Your Midst, a student peer health education group, spent part of Thursday promoting the 2012 Pitt State Great Gorilla Smokeout.
    In addition to handing out 200 free “quit kits,” the students shared information about the university’s new tobacco policy task force and a wide variety of smoking cessation support resources. Among those are the Via Christi Health smoking classes. Via Christi Hospital was there demonstrating the difference between healthy and diseased pig lungs — they are similar to human lungs — as well as the amount of tar a smoker can accumulate in a year and the amount of mucous a smoker can cough up in a month.
    To add some fun to the event, students could play “Tobacco Jeopardy” for prizes.
    Advisor J.T. Knoll said the group doesn’t have a goal for how many smokers it can get to quit.
    “We just want to be informative,” said Knoll, adding that Gorillas In Your Midst has been promoting the smoke outs for the past 16 years.
    Volunteer and nursing student Stephanie Sutherland said she supports people’s right to smoke, but that she doesn’t think it’s a good idea. She also supports a measure that would ban smoking on campus.
    “I don’t like it when I’m on campus and someone blows smoke in my face,” Sutherland said.
    Her fellow volunteer, Tambree Wilson, agreed.
    “I think it would be nice to walk across campus and not have to smell it,” she said.
    Sutherland said she wishes smokers knew exactly how bad the habit is for them.
    “I wish students could see what its like and how it affects them, especially being in a hospital and seeing someone wearing a CPAP every day for 20 years in a row,” she said. “A lot of people are stopping by for their friends and family members, too.”
    Volunteer Brady Steinbock said the group doesn’t take an in-your-face approach to distributing its message.
    “We don’t tell people not to do stuff,” Steinbock said. “We just want to show them how they can make a change, that there are healthier options out there.”
    The Via Christi Cancer Center offers smoking cessation classes for anyone who is interested.
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