Events helps students kick the habit

Aaron Porter

With Kentucky having the highest rates of lung cancer deaths, an estimated 8,900 a year and rising, the cause for more action against tobacco use is evident in the state.

The University Health Service and the Student Health Advisory Council co-sponsored the Kick Butts event Tuesday and also received help from a host of wellness organizations on campus to raise awareness about the impact of tobacco use at UK and throughout the state.

Brittanie Mahanna, a clinical leadership and management junior, helped with the event.

Mahanna said using tobacco is normal on campus, but students do not know the effects it has.

“It is one of the most addicting drugs out there and people get hooked on it … and later on in life, the effects are enormous,” Mahanna said.

The Kick Butts event was a way to draw students in and give them information on tobacco in a non-threatening way. The event has giveaways, games and food, but also educates students about the harm tobacco causes.

A visual representation of those people who have lost their lives to tobacco was displayed during the event.

A white sheet featured thousands of handprints with each colored hand representing five lives lost to tobacco each year, with black handprints representing the 20 percent of UK students who use tobacco products.

Since Mahanna has been working on the event and different programs, she has seen a lot of success with students who quit using tobacco.

“We do see a lot of success through our tobacco cessation program, even if someone isn’t successful in their first quitting attempt, we really hope to share information with people,” Mahanna said.

The Tobacco cessation program through the University Health Center is free for students, and the center has a tobacco sensation specialist for counseling as well.

The program sends out information through emails about tobacco cessation, tips, and tricks on how to go about it, and what it means to be addicted to tobacco and how to quit.

The form for the can be found online on through the student health tab. Students can sign up to gain more knowledge about the program, and can find more resources.