Leave the Pack Behind’s Mission: Research and Awareness, Not Lecturing


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LTPB in the Brock Press

By Danielle Matheusik

How would you spend $330 million dollars in one year? Some might
buy a fleet of sporty cars, or travel the globe in luxury, or
do the sensible thing, and pay off that pesky student loan. You
could also purchase more than a billion cigarettes.

A statistic on the Health Canada web-site cites that Canadian
teenagers smoke more than one billion cigarettes a year. This
adds up to more than $300 million dollars which has, quite literally,
gone up in smoke.

“At Brock (University),” says Sharon Lawler, the Manager
and Co-Director of Leave The Pack Behind (LTPB), “there is
a heightened sense of awareness about smoking.”

“There have been many changes going on around campus,”
says Kelli-an Lawrance, the Principal Investigator and Co-Director
of LTPB.

One difference students may note is the absence of the Power
Wall display of cigarettes in the campus general stores.

“The cigarettes have been put below the counter in SUBcetera
North and South,” says Kim Lazenby, Vice-President of Student

Lawler says she would “like to see them (BUSU) continue
in that direction. We want to be able to sell the patch (nicotine
patch) and gum (nicotine gum) in convenience stores on campus.”
In this way, she believes that these smoking cessation aids will
be more accessible to students, thereby increasing the chance
that they will make use of them.

Another change to be found at Brock is the expansion of the campus’
smoke-free zones. A number of clearly marked places are now designated
as smoke-free on campus, and the additions include the covered
area between B-Block and Taro Hall, entrances to A-Block, south
access and entrance to J-Block, the entire plaza area in front
of the Tower, the main Walker Complex entrance, and the area between
the Alumni Student Center and Taro Hall.

“The bans and restrictions on where people may smoke,”
says Lawrance, “protects people from second-hand smoke, and
it encourages people trying to quit because they aren’t as
likely to be triggered to smoke if it isn’t around them.”

Alternatively, designated smoking areas are located in the courtyard
between A-Block and the Language Learning Center, as well as the
area between Welch Hall and Thistle.

A new smoking by-law established on May 31, 2003 in the Niagara
Region prevents people from lighting up in various places, including
restaurants and bars. Brock’s campus bar, Isaac’s, is
no exception.

“There haven’t been any (by-law) issues (at Isaac’s),”
says Brandon Larry, President of BUSU. “It is really working
out well. People are realizing it is a good thing.”

LTPB, despite many misconceptions, is not about making smokers
quit. Rather, it is about providing a wide range of services to
raise awareness about tobacco products and their usage, says Lawrance.

The number of campuses involved in the LTPB program has doubled
from six to twelve in the past four years, says Lawler, and she
adds that more and more campuses want the program.

The LTPB program is widely known for its annual Let’s Make
a Deal! contest which runs during the month of January. For more
information about LTPB and its services, stop in at A310 on Tuesdays
from 3-5 p.m., or at Health Services on Tuesdays from 5-7, or
e-mail the group at [email protected]

Research has shown that students are likely to either begin smoking,
or increase their usage of cigarettes once they get to post-secondary
school. As stated on the Leave the Pack Behind web-site, found

www.leavethepackbehind.org, “19-24 year olds have the highest
smoking rate of all age groups (CTUMS, 2001).”

Tobacco use has moved up on the health agenda, notes Lawrance.
Usually, she says, the focus is on alcohol and stress, but there
is a growing recognition that smoking is an issue.

“There are many new resources for young adults to try,”
says Lawler, “like the Smoke. Quit. information booklets.”
She adds that “students want to know (a cessation method)
works before trying it. They are more likely to use it if it has
been evaluated.”

“If a smoker is able to get help quitting,” says Lawrance,
“he or she is more likely to quit.”

Leave the Pack Behind’s Mission: Research and Awareness, Not Lecturing
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