Quitting smoking on campus gets easier

By Rhiannon Kirkland

Being a smoker on campus has been harder since it became illegal to sell tobacco products at all post-secondary institutions in Alberta on Jan. 1.

Still, smoking remains common on campus, inspiring the University of Calgary and the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control to start a quit smoking campaign.

“People will choose to quit based on different triggers at different times,” said CCTC program leader Marino Francispillai.

The council put up posters around campus encouraging students to quit smoking. They’re promoting a province-wide program called Quitcore that teaches participants strategies for quitting successfully over eight, 90-minute sessions.

Those in the Quitcore 14-week program have higher quit rates than those who try to go it alone.

“Most people tend to try quitting six to eight times before they succeed, but what we’re trying to do is help them make that quit attempt more successful so that they don’t have to go through the multiple times,” said Francispillai.

The Quitcore program also has a second tier that emphasizes social support. Participants are given the option of selecting a support person who is trained with support strategies and helps over the course of their attempt to quit.

“Having somebody as a support person that’s engaging with them on that quit attempt and getting trained on how to be supportive just enhances their ability to try to quit smoking,” said Francispillai.

The latest session of Quitcore started Jan. 20. The program accepts up to 100 participants and is making a waitlist for the next session in September.

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