Anti-smoking art hits Gorton Quad Nov. 16

Maria DeLorenzo

By MARIA DELORENZO
City Times

Every year smokers across the nation are encouraged to take part in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November simply by quitting for the day or committing to smoking less.

On Nov. 16, San Diego City College is supporting the event with the Chalk-It-Up Contest where students have the opportunity to create chalk art in Gorton Quad relating to the theme of tobacco awareness.

Students will have 4×6 panels of the sidewalk and a 12 color pastel set of chalk to create their artwork. Students may work alone or in groups and can start as early as 7 a.m. Judging will be conducted by a panel at 3 p.m. and first, second and third prizes are available.

The event is sponsored by Student Health Services and students can pick up information and entry forms at Health Services in room A116.

Student Health Services Director Dottie Cordell says that among other prizes there will be two tickets to Disneyland and a $75 gift certificate to Sunglass Hut.

“The idea is to catch some attention, have fun and raise awareness,” says Cordell.

This year Cordell spearheaded the Chalk-It-Up event in order to create a positive event in support of the Great American Smokeout.

Cordell hopes the event will help to get students thinking about quitting or visiting Health Services for tobacco cessation counseling and direction.

Several of the health department faculty are promoting the event within their classes. Cathy McGinnis, Department Chair of Health and Exercise Science thinks there isn’t a big problem with smoking on campus but it is definitely a concern.

McGinnis thinks there is a need for more separate smoking areas.

“We aren’t as militant as our sister college Mesa, who has banned smoking on campus, but we are concerned with a clean air environment,” she said.

Carol “Dex” Dexheimer, Vice President of Administrative Services took the lead in 2005 to promote a tobacco-free campus.

It started in 2005 with an art project with Professor Wayne Holgin where students produced artwork related to smoking and its effects.

“The art from last year was so well received that we wanted to do something else this year,” said Dexheimer. “It is a way for everyone to participate and focus.”

According to the American Cancer Society, research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have some means of support, such as nicotine, replacement products, counseling, prescription medicine to lessen cravings, guide books, and the encouragement of friends and family members.

For more information about quitting smoking go to Student Health Services to find out the first step you can take. You can also call 1-800-ACS-2345 to find a quitline or other science-based support in your area. For more information visit www.cancer.org.