EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – The University of Oregon is nearly two months into a complete tobacco ban on campus and with the transition, students are getting free access to resources to kick the habit.
Since the tobacco ban took effect on September 1, the University of Oregon reports it's contacted fifty to sixty people who've taken advantage of the free tobacco cession help.
Through the campus health center, the University’s Peer Health Program offers a six week supply, or three boxes, of either tobacco replacement patches or gum. Students taking part also have to create a quit plan detailing the barriers in the way toward quitting. Students can also take part in free counseling sessions too.
The big push now is to see how effective the program is. The UO is trying to keep track of how many people in the program are able to quit.
So far, the program has been a positive help, according to student leaders.
“Nicotine replacement therapy can run up to $50 per box and since we're providing the students with up to three boxes of nicotine replacement therapy, that's about $150 they're saving by coming to us instead. So I'm just glad that we're able to provide that to them and help them in the transition,” says Josh Buehler, the student cessation program coordinator for the University of Oregon Peer Health Program.
The cessation program has enough money to keep running for at least the next year, possibly two years. All of the money to fund it comes from the UO student government, or ASUO, which gets most of its money from student fees.
As for enforcement of the no tobacco policy, the University has posted signs all over campus about it. Many are in different languages too, as many international students smoke. UO Police can write $30 citations. However, right now, they’re mostly just trying to inform people about the policy.