By Haley Costen
Dean Judy Beal announced on Sept. 16 that the Tobacco Free Simmons Committee would be moving into the second phase of its initiative to make the College tobacco free.
According to Beal’s email announcement, Phase Two will focus on the community and addressing any concerns. Data from the Office of the Dean of Student Life shows that the percentage of students at Simmons who are smokers is between three and four percent, according to Beal.
One concern addressed in Beal’s announcement was for the safety of students who are now required to travel outside the gated campus at night to smoke.
The committee met with a group of concerned student leaders at its Tobacco Free meeting on Tuesday to address safety concerns, according to Beal. The committee will be addressing the outcome of the meeting with the Simmons community shortly after.
“The Tobacco Free Simmons Committee is working with Public Safety and the Office of Student Life to address these concerns,” Beal said in an email interview.
Beal also spoke about resources available for smokers in her email update.
Faculty and staff enrolled in Simmons’s employee medical plan can use resources such as Lifestyle Coaching with experienced health educators. Smoking cessation products available over the counter will be processed under employee medical plan’s prescription drug benefit.
Also, the Simmons Health Center offers appointments for students for individual counseling about smoking cessation. Some strategies in her update included nicotine replacement therapy and prescription options such as varenicline (Chantix) and bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin).
Beal also said that during the fall semester a series of screenings will be held as part of the Wellness@Simmons initiative. The Tobacco Free Simmons Committee is also planning an event that will highlight resources available to smokers who wish to stop smoking.
Beal encouraged students to stay tuned for more details from the Tobacco Free Simmons Committee and Wellness@Simmons.