Respiratory Care Club and Wellness center team up for Great American Smokeout

Jacob Kenter

Staff Writer

On Thursday, Nov. 19 the Parkland College Respiratory Care Club, in conjunction with the Wellness Center,

Photo by Ruben Aguilar | The Prospectus Parkland College officially became a smoke-free campus on July 1, 2015. The campus policy prohibits use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Photo by Ruben Aguilar | The Prospectus
Parkland College officially became a smoke-free campus on July 1, 2015. The campus policy prohibits use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

will be hosting The Great American Smokeout.

“The Great American Smokeout is a day that is dedicated to not smoking, so we are asking people that are current smokers to put down their cigarettes or other forms of tobacco and not use for 24 hours,” said Sara Estock, Parkland College wellness coordinator.

Estock says that for the event they will be using the stage and surrounding area in the café. There will be an education table about the cessation of smoking as well as the harms of smoking. They will also have information about the harm of e-cigarettes.

During the event there will be a raffle. Parkland College TV will be interviewing people who have quit smoking and the reasons they quit smoking, according to Estock. There will also be a DJ to play music while students enjoy lunch catered by Jimmy Johns.

“The Respiratory Care Club will be working in conjunction with the Parkland United for Student Health Club and we will be working in conjunction with them to bring forth an educational event for the great American smokeout,” said Molly Martin, advisor for the Parkland College Respiratory club.

They are putting on this event to get smokers to put down their cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vapes for 24 hours. The two clubs have come together to plan and execute the educational event to raise awareness of why people should stop smoking.

Martin says that the Respiratory Care Club is going to be involved mostly in the educational part of the event, and one of the things that they want to hit really hard this year is the use of e-cigarettes and vapes.

The event will also have a focus on COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] which is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Martin says that it is important to raise awareness because many patients that have COPD generally don’t feel it’s effects in their younger years, so many students do not have the realization that the disease can catch up to them.

“We are going to be focusing on the benefits of cessation of smoking, the risk of smoking and how smoking can affect your body, also your overall health in general,” said Gurvinder Rakalla who is the vice president of the Respiratory Care Club. Rakalla also says that they will be focusing on the risks and health risk of e-cigarettes and vapes.

The Respiratory Care Club will be handing out pamphlets that have information about e-cigarettes. The club will also be using the event as an opportunity to see how the new no-smoking rule is being taken and what effects it has on them as students at Parkland College.

“This will be a good opportunity to get feedback from students on how they feel about Parkland College being a smoke-free campus and getting that kind of feedback is one of the things that make this event important to us,” Rakalla said.

The Respiratory Care Club wants to know how the students feel about the smoke-free campus, so that they can know how to better reach out to students about smoking related problems.

Estock says that one of the things she hope students take away from this event is that the Wellness Center is a place that students can get health care and health education

The Great American Smokeout event will be going on in the U-Wing from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Nov. 19.