To celebrate World No Tobacco Day, the Yale community was encouraged to Blow Bubbles, Not Smoke during a lunch hour event on Cross Campus. The Tobacco-Free Yale Team spread awareness and smoking cessation resources to members of the Yale community, greeting passersby with bubble pens and leaflets. There were also bubbles courtesy of a small bubble machine that was a great curiosity to all who stopped by.
One important goal of this event was to ask smokers to pledge not to smoke, vape or chew for 24 hours in honor of the World No Tobacco Day exposing them to what would hopefully be the beginning of the end of their smoking careers.
May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, an annual awareness day sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1987 to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and encourage governments to adopt effective policies to reduce smoking and other tobacco use.
Two community members pledged to abstain for 24 hours, while another employee who is a former smoker, Senior Administrative Assistant with LAWFAA Faculty Support Staff Alieta Lynch, posted a picture on Instagram, tagging #TobaccoFreeYale to promote the event.
The campus was a bit quiet but a few graduate students and some staff members stopped by because they saw the bubbles. Several talked about having quit because they wanted to lead healthier lives or wanting to work out or run. Many left with the cessation resources card pledging to give it to co-workers or other students. Carolyn Hannah, a Retrievals Processing Generalist with Sterling Memorial Library Operations Management, responded very passionately when she saw the table, repeating, “I am with this!”
While only a small number of people pledged, the event was still a success if it helped even one person stop smoking. Many community members stopped and took information for their colleagues and friends and several people merely stopped to praise Tobacco-Free on its message and goals, including some members of Yale Security. The Tobacco-Free team happily witnessed someone confiscate their friend’s vape pen after he signed the pledge not to smoke!
As part of this event, attendees could nominate a Tobacco Free Champion. Any member of the Yale community who they believed promoted a tobacco-free lifestyle and may help people who have quit or are trying to quit. Nominees will receive a certificate for their service to the Yale community and some Tobacco-Free swag.
This event was held in support of the University’s decision to become a tobacco-free campus, which would involve removing all current designated smoking areas and prohibiting smoking, vaping or chewing within campus grounds.
For more information about a Tobacco-Free Yale or our free cessation products, please visit http://tobaccofree.yale.edu/.
By Jasmine Smith, Yale Administration