Students walking in the Quad last week might have noticed a table with rat poison, lighter fluid, nail polish remover, and other household chemicals. These items were not an odd arrangements of prizes. Instead, they were all physical representations of everyday items that contain similar chemicals found in cigarettes.

The display, which was part of the Great American Smoke, was there to help the students better understand what they are putting in their bodies.

“Most of us are visually orientated and it helps when you can see what you are putting in your body,” said Lorrie Gray, registered dietician.

Student Health Services coordinated the event with the emphasis on promoting the campus going smoke free next year and also informing students and staff on the dangers of smoking and encouraging them to quit.

“We’ve gotten a really strong response, we saw over 100 students,” said Jo Buczko, coordinator of Student Health Services.

While smoking was the main issue at hand, registered dietician Lorrie Gray also addressed nutrition by showing students the fat content of popular fast foods and recommending healthy alternatives.

“Realistically people are going to eat out but they can still make a good choices,” Gray said. “It’s about having that awareness.”

Clubs on campus were also encouraged to participate in the Smokeout by competing with each other to see who could collect the most cigarette butts.

“We give them masks, gloves and the club who collects he most butts will have $150 added to their T&A account,” Buczko said.

The event came to an end on Thursday in the Library’s rotunda with poster presentations by two human physiology classes on the impact of smoking on the human body.  Physiology instructor Sonya Valentine said she decided to focus on smoking to coincide with the campus going smoke free.

“Each semester students give a presentation on a disease or disorder related to the human body and this year we are doing it on smoking,” said Valentine.

One of the posters was the effects of smoking and the increased chance of Alzheimer’s done by Ana Nazarian and Megan Oscar who chose the topic because it was a subject they’ve both had experience with.

“Both our grandmas had Alzheimer’s and one of the most rewarding things about doing this project is that it is something we actually care about,” said Oscar.

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