What: The Great American Smokeout
When: Thursday, 11 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: UMC, dining hall
T he University of Colorado is joining Thursday's Great American Smokeout -- the American Cancer Society campaign encouraging quitting smoking -- on Thursday by talking to students about the environmental impacts of tobacco.
Community Health, a division of the Wardenburg Health Center, will be distributing information in the University Memorial Center to students about the effects of nicotine, including its environmental impact.
Robin Kolble, CU's Community Health manager, said the school is looking for new ways to reach student smokers, so the environmental impact angle may encourage some to quit.
"Tobacco is often grown in third world countries, contributes to deforestation, and is the No. 1 trash on campus," Kolble said.
While 60 percent of students said they've never smoked a cigarette, 21 percent have smoked occasionally and 6 1/2 percent smoke daily, according to Community Health reports.
Staff will be handing out Quit Kits that include gum, toothpicks and information about the Colorado QuitLine, which provides smokers with up to eight weeks of nicotine substitutes.
CU junior Laura Malaver said she's been smoking for about three or four years now and while the environmental impact isn't enough to motivate her to quit, she does think some students -- especially in Boulder -- might connect with that message.
"I think it will be effective for people who are interested in quitting, or others, perhaps like me, who just want more information about it," Malaver said. "I will quit when I feel is the time, but not when overwhelming information is placed in front me."
Kolble said about 80 percent of smokers think about quitting on a regular basis and she's hoping that Thursday's push will get students like Malaver to try.
Community Health services, including support and planning for smokers hoping to quit, are free and available to students all year in the UMC, room 411, Kolble said.