Jesuit values encompass not just education, but all aspects of life, including a healthy lifestyle with hope of a long and happy life. Fairfield University is truly practicing its Jesuit mindset with its ban on tobacco taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

In order to inform the Fairfield community of this decision, the University will be holding the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 16, in accordance with the national event. All members of the Stag community are welcome, with the goal being to educate as much of the student body as possible about the big change.

The Great American Smokeout is an event that is put on by The American Cancer Society. Their mission is to aid others in leading a fully healthy life; whether it be hosting an event on a college campus to educate the younger generation or funding research for better treatment, The American Cancer Society strives for a cancer-free world.

The event will be held in the Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons, with Great American Smokeout representatives available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Information and services will be provided for those students or staff who would like to stop using tobacco products, as well as tips on how to support a loved one who is trying to quit tobacco. Information will not be limited to just these topics, however, as Smokeout reps will be available to answer any and all questions attendees may have.

The ban on tobacco applies to all members of the Fairfield University community; faculty, staff, students and visitors alike. Beginning on Jan. 1, Fairfield University will join a group of 1,500 other schools, both jesuit and non-jesuit, country-wide in becoming tobacco free, such as Quinnipiac University and Plymouth State University.

However, not all student reactions to the tobacco ban have been positive. “I chose not to smoke tobacco but if their [tobacco users] actions aren’t affecting me, I see no need to take their rights away,” said Samantha Hettrich ’20.

The Great American Smokeout has set out to enlighten students on the danger of tobacco products that have been glorified by Big Tobacco. Educating the younger generation remains a priority of this organization, with hopes of a healthy, tobacco-free future.

“I think that the ban will face some resistance from students, however, the information provided from The Great American Smokeout will hopefully change the minds of those not in favor,” said Leopoldo Castillo ’19.

Major contributors to the Great American Smokeout event here at Fairfield University include the Wellness Committee, the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies and the Office of Human Resources with support from the Fairfield University Student Association, faculty and staff.

The Great American Smokeout and American Cancer Society hope to educate the younger generation on the serious health risks involved with tobacco products, as they envision a world free from tobacco use.

Teddy DeRosa, associate director of public relations & community relations, sees a bright future for a tobacco-free world. “In order for a world to be tobacco-free, there needs to be support and education,” said DeRosa. “With events like the Great American Smokeout and working with the American Cancer Society, Fairfield is helping to make that goal happen.” According to DeRosa, the University was awarded “Gold Status” by the Healthy Workplace Employer Recognition Program, which is a status reserved for workplaces that have made cultural and environmental changes to support employees committed to embracing a healthy lifestyle.

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