Truman State implemented a tobacco-free campus policy July 1 that banned all use of tobacco-related products on campus.
The Board of Governors passed the policy during a spring 2014 meeting, making Truman one of many tobacco-free higher learning institutions in Missouri. To help current students and faculty adjust to this change, Truman began a smoking cessation program to give free smoking cessation products and one-on-one coaching sessions for students, faculty and staff, which started March 2015.
Mindy Aucutt, Human Resources Assistant Director, says she already has seen some progress with the cessation program this summer. Aucutt says while overseeing the faculty and staff portion of this cessation program, a handful of faculty approached her asking to be part of the program and help resolve their addictions. She says two participants who completed the program are completely addiction free.
Aucutt says she thinks there are many positive effects the program can have for the University.
“Medical insurance is a big topic in our office and having healthy people all around is our top goal,” Aucutt says. “And for me, having the older generations of faculty and staff being a good example for the students coming here is another one of my goals.”
Aucutt says she thinks the cessation program makes it easier for participants to quit smoking because they receive free cessation products which normally are very expensive at a store. She says because of this program, participants also will be saving a lot of money with lower health insurance premiums, as well as living healthier lives physically and psychologically. She says this might be difficult for some program participants because not everyone has the same level of addiction, tolerance, environment, reasons for starting, and emotional and behavioral challenges to face throughout the quitting process. However, she says there are plenty of free resources and staff to support and encourage them when making the decision.
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