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Loyola introduces Freshstart Smoking Cessation Program to help smokers quit


This April, Loyola community members who wish to stop smoking will have access to Freshstart, a free program designed by the American Cancer Society aimed to help smokers quit.

The program will run from April 4 to April 25, and it is open to any student or employee who identifies as a smoker, which includes vaping.

According to the Assistant Director of the Office of Student Support and Wellness Promotion, (SSWP) Zachary Hitchens, “the program consists of four 60-minute group sessions, during which we discuss topics such as nicotine withdrawal, coping strategies for when people experience cravings, developing a plan to quit, and how to learn from previous attempts at quitting.”

The program comes as a response to Loyola’s November campaign to explore whether or not our campus should become smoke-free. A five-question survey from the Health Center and SSWP was posted through Loyola Today, and asked for the community’s help to determine if a change needed to be made.

The results from the survey showed that 71% of the over 1,000 respondents were in favor of Loyola becoming a smoke-free campus. Additionally, 12.5% of current smokers expressed a desire to want to quit smoking, said Hitchens.

Freshstart gives these students and employees a community-based program rooted in respect and support.

“From the start of our discussions of becoming a smoke-free campus, our main concern is that no one on our campus feels excluded or unsupported throughout this potential change,” Hitchens said. “Offering a free smoking cessation program to students and employees is one way in which we can offer support to those members of our community who smoke and wish to quit.”

Above all, Hitchens encourages those who are interested to learn more about making a change in their lives through the program.

“Quitting smoking is not easy but it is an achievable goal. Our hope is that everyone on campus feels supported and welcome, and I want anyone who does smoke and is thinking about quitting to feel free to contact me to gain more information about our program,” Hitchens said.

For more information, Zachary Hitchens can be reached at [email protected].

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Loyola introduces Freshstart Smoking Cessation Program to help smokers quit