In honor of “Take Down Tobacco” month this April, University of Wisconsin Spark is holding two upcoming events this week advocating against the usage of tobacco and e-cigarettes. Spark is a state-wide organization across Wisconsin colleges, providing education and outreach to those who may be, or know someone else, struggling with tobacco addiction.
There will be a free self-care kit giveaway April 21 at Memorial Union from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with the kits containing candy, gum, a notepad, pens, stickers, a stress ball and more, Spark President Jacqueline Sii said.
The organization also provides helpful resources and information for anyone who is interested in kicking their habit of tobacco use. Sii said the organization has pursued several actions to promote the idea of a safer and smokeless campus.
“Spark ultimately aims to get smoke-free policies passed in order to promote tobacco-free campuses across Wisconsin,” Sii said.
According to Statista’s 2021 study on nearly 6,000 college students, 75% of respondents had used an e-cigarette product in the last three months and 42% of respondents had smoked a cigarette.
According to Sii, Spark has engaged in outreach through legislative talks, posters on Bascom Hill and surveys to gauge student understanding about smoking on campus.
“We have also done presentations to other groups, led campus cleanups and we also partnered up with the Dane County Health Department education-wise for e-cigarette use and tobacco use,” Sii said.
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According to Sii, Spark is also organizing the “National Kick Butts Day” on April 22 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event plans on cleaning up the cigarette butts around campus. Participants do not need to bring their own gloves, bags or other equipment, as all the necessary supplies will be provided by Spark, Sii said.