The University of Dallas Student Activities and Pre-Health Society hosted a Tobacco Awareness Day on Nov. 18 to distribute information about the effects of smoking and to encourage students to give it up.
“Since there is a huge population of students at UD that smoke, we wanted to do something to increase more awareness for people who do smoke,” said Linh Nguyen, president of the Pre-Health Society.
The Pre-Health Society set up a booth outside of the Mall with information on the effects of smoking. As students walked by, they received fliers containing information on the topic and were asked to put their names in a drawing after reading the information.
“The flier had information that showed how much damage smoking did physically and mentally, as well as how much people spend on smoking,” Nguyen.
Aside from being able to enter in a drawing in order to win Wal-Mart, Starbucks and In-N-Out gift cards, students were also asked to give up their cigarettes in exchange for Cap Bar coupons.
“Due to the large number of smokers on campus, we decided to give them incentives to give up their packets of cigarettes,” said Alejandra Hernandez, PR officer of the club. “For every packet that they gave up that was at least half full, they received a Cap Bar ticket.”
At the end of the event, the Pre-Health Society had collected about five or six cigarette packs.
“We saw that a lot of the students willingly read the information and entered the drawing,” said Hernandez. “The smokers, however, were surprised to be asked to give up their cigarettes. Some hesitated to give them up, but for the others it was mainly a one-day-thing.”
The Pre-Health Society hopes to raise more awareness about smoking beyond the one-day campaign.
“We want the smokers to know that we care,” Nguyen said. “We don’t want them to think that we are indifferent or that we don’t care that they smoke. We need them to know that we do care and we want them to know the consequences of smoking.”
Promoting awareness of smoking and second-hand smoke will hopefully be a yearly event, Hernandez said.
“We had a good turnout and we were advertising good healthy habits that were much needed,” she said.