Campus to Host Several Tobacco-free Events During November

Highlights include Clear Air Expo on Nov. 6th and Great American Smokeout Mock Funeral on Nov. 21


All University of California campuses are going tobacco and smoke free no later than Jan. 2, 2014.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout will be held nationwide on Thursday, November 21, 2013, but the University of California, Riverside will be holding events throughout the month of November that are geared towards helping students, staff and faculty quit tobacco.

The month-long campaign is part of the run-up to UC Riverside will joining the rest of the University of California campuses and facilities by going smoke and tobacco-free on January 2, 2014. No tobacco use of any kind will be allowed on campus property, and the policy extends to e-cigarettes as well.

“A 2012 survey of members of the UC Riverside community revealed that 50% of tobacco users reported they had tried to quit at some point in the last 12 months and 64% said that they planned on quitting tobacco in the future,” said Julie Chobdee, wellness program coordinator for UCR Human Resources. “Our goal is to provide those people with the tools and resources they need to permanently quit.”

The Clearing the Air Expo will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in HUB 302S and will provide the community with the opportunity to hear the latest research by UCR faculty. Scheduled speakers include:

  • Professor of Cell Biology Prue Talbot presenting “Electronic Cigarettes – A Double-edged Sword?” at 12 noon.
  • Professor of Cell Biology Manuela Martins-Green presenting “Effects of Third Hand Smoke on Physiological Processes Related to Health and Disease” at 12:40 p.m.
  • Professor of Chemistry Yinsheng Wang presenting “Tobacco Carcinogens and How They Damage our Genes” at 1:20 p.m.

Interim Vice Chancellor of FBO & CIO Charles Rowley will welcome attendees at 11:40 a.m. and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dallas Rabenstein will provide introductory remarks at 11:50 a.m.

The expo will also feature a raffle, healthy snacks and information for people who wish to stop smoking or using tobacco. UCR students will also be presenting posters detailing their research. Vendors scheduled to attend include:

  • Campus Health Center
  • American Cancer Society
  • Faculty/Staff Wellness Program
  • American Heart Society
  • Smoke Free VET
  • American Lung Society
  • The Well
  • Beaver Medical Group
  • UCR Counseling Center
  • UCR School of Medicine
  • California Youth Advocacy Network (CYAN)
  • UCR Smoke/Tobacco-Free Committee
  • California  Smokers’ Helpline
  • VJ Sleight, Tobacco Treatment Specialist
  • Riverside Country Tobacco Control Project

“We know there are plenty of people on campus who want to quit tobacco, but they just need that little bit of help. That is what the expo is for,” said Seana Nunez-Grider, staff employment and development analyst in Human Resources and one of the organizers of the expo.

Students are being invited to submit short 30 to 60 second films that tell the story of how UCR will be healthier by going tobacco free. The submission deadline is Nov. 5 and films should be uploaded to YouTube and the link sent to

On Nov. 21, the Student Health Center will host the Great American Smokeout Mock Funeral at the Bell Tower from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to information tables, a raffle and give aways, the event will feature a silent funeral procession from the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to the Bell Tower and a symbolic giant cigarette being put to rest in a casket.

“If just one person gives up smoking as a result of our efforts, then this will be considered a success,” said Ken Stewart of the UCR Student Health Center.

Ongoing Tobacco Cessation Programs for students and staff and faculty will be promoted throughout the month. Students can contact Student Health Services at (951) 827-3031, while staff and faculty can contact UCR Human Resources Workplace Health and Wellness a (951) 827-1488.  Estimates are that as many as 70% of smokers want to stop using tobacco, but are not ready to do so.

For more information on the UC going Smoke- and Tobacco Free on January 2, 2014, please visit the UCR Tobacco Free website. Information on campus wellness programs for staff and faculty can be found at Programs for students can be found at The Well website as well as Campus Health Center.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

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