Story by Ashley Traylor, Contributing writer
Murray State officially became a tobacco-free campus this August, a change on campus that came along with the need for cessation classes.
The policy was set into effect this semester, which added Murray State to the list of 1,000 tobacco-free schools in the nation.
Murray State’s Wellness Center is offering a weekly Not on Tobacco program, called NOT, for the fall semester. Brittney Stinnett, fitness coordinator at the Wellness Center is the director of the program.
“My role is to facilitate each discussion and bring the materials, but it is very much a relationship between everyone involved and encouraging each other,” Stinnett said.
The program is designed for Murray State students who want to become tobacco-free, no matter the form of tobacco.
Stinnett said Not on Tobacco is made up of 10 sessions that explain what smoking does to the body, factors that cause people to smoke and ways a person can prepare to quit.
She said the fifth session will be an important day because students will either choose to quit tobacco officially or they may find themselves dropping out of the program.
Sessions six through 10 will focus on how to combat the cravings and urges to use tobacco, and ex-smokers can surround themselves with encouragement to stay tobacco-free.
As of Monday, three students have signed up for the first session that began Thursday in Wellness Center conference room.
Judy Lyle, former director of Health Services at Murray State, was the creator of the Not on Tobacco program. Lyle asked if Stinnett would take over as a facilitator and Stinnett agreed.
Stinnett and Lyle said they want students to know there is a healthy way to kick tobacco use.
“We wanted to make sure everything was lined up for when students came on campus, so they knew they would have a support system from faculty and staff,” Stinnett said.
David Becker, freshman from St. Louis, Missouri, said he thinks the Not on Tobacco program will benefit students if enough join the movement toward quitting smoking.
“I’m glad that Murray State is a tobacco-free environment,” Becker said. “I think the NOT program is making strides toward a better lifestyle that will also provide accountability through the program and after.”