Anti-smoking campaign aims to “Make Quit Memorable”

Queen’s students promote smoking cessation campaign  

Students Joseph Lee, ArtSci ’18, and Jennifer Dal Cin, ArtSci ’19, want campus to “Leave the Pack Behind” through their anti-smoking cessation campaign, Make Quit Memorable.

Leave the Pack Behind is a program geared towards encouraging young adults to quit smoking. It’s funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and was first founded at Brock University in 2000.

“We make sure that people who want to quit smoking have the chance to access resource such as nicotine replacement therapy,” Dal Cin said in an interview with The Journal.

Every year, the organization holds their annual Make Quit Memorable campaign. According Dal Cin, the campaign serves to raise awareness and encourage students to “try and try again.”

The campaign asks young adults to capitalize on memorable days like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or pop-culture events to quit.

“We know that it often takes multiple attempts to quit smoking, so it’s important to keep trying even after a relapse. The Make Quit Memorable campaign encourages young adults to set meaningful quit dates, such as on a birthday or graduation,” Vanessa Linton, the public health promoter of KFL&A, said in an interview with The Journal.

To promote this campaign, young adults can order free nicotine patches and gum online, read mini-booklets about quitting, and download the free Crush the Crave mobile phone app among other initiatives.

Dal Cin said smoking is a prevalent activity that students engage in.

“It has definitely lowered a lot in the past decade or two,” Dal Cin said, “[but] in social smoking, most of my friends often smoke when they drink and that is a major problem.”

“Sometimes there might be stress around the campus and [students] might take up cigarette use,” Lee added in an interview with The Journal.

Lindsay Taylor, Assistant Manager of Leave the Pack Behind, told The Journal that social smoking is a recurring trend, especially when young adults are out amongst their peers.

“When we talk to people about this, what we hear a lot is they smoke because it helps them be social, it reduces social awkwardness or because many of their closest friends smoke,” Taylor said.

She added the practice is also highly linked with other social behaviours on campus, such as drinking, that can carry the practice later on in life.

“It’s okay to drink in a social setting,” Lee said, adding it’s the organization’s job to dissociate the trigger to the use of tobacco that may lead students down to nicotine addiction.

“The point that I want to emphasize is that part of our goals of the campaign is to increase the number of quit attempts, but also decrease the [amount] of relapse attempts,” Lee said. “There’s also research that shows that people capitalize on a memorable day, they are more successful in quitting.”

When asked about the impact of the campaign, Lee said recently they’ve seen a significant amount of people taking advantage of the resources they provide, such as nicotine replacement therapy.

They hope to see the campaign continue to reach smokers within the community and remind those looking to quit that resources and support exists for them.

“Quitting smoking is hard […] on average it takes people many attempts to quit for good,” Lee said. “But each time you quit, you learn something about yourself that you didn’t know about before, and that’s really the emphasis of this campaign.”

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