To kick off the start of the school year on Monday, August 22, the Peers Against Tobacco (PAT) student team at The University of Texas at Tyler participated in an on-campus event where they provided outreach materials, prevention and education resources to 75 students.
Their booth at the event included an interactive game where students looked at a “tar jar” and guessed how many cigarettes a person has to smoke in one year to have the amount of tar in their lungs shown in the “tar jar”. The answer: ½ a pack a day for one year, which is 3,650 cigarettes. The winning guess was 3,700, and that student received a gift card.
ETU Texas Steering Committee member, Elizabeth Yett, is an advisor to the PAT team at UT Tyler. Dr. Yett said of tobacco control efforts on her campus, “I want our campus to be a focal point of the community and to encourage guests to experience the beauty of East Texas here by visiting our grounds. I want everyone to know they are welcome and that we are actively working to provide them a healthy, clean, welcoming environment with our smoke-free policy and efforts.”
Peers Against Tobacco (PAT) is a peer-led tobacco/nicotine prevention program for all colleges and universities across Texas. Their goal is to prevent college students from ever initiating use of tobacco and nicotine products. They focus on two main issues on college campuses: the prevalence of alternative tobacco products, like e-cigs and hookahs, and “casual” or “occasional” smoking.
Campuses can access PAT outreach materials for free on their website (they develop a new creative campaign every year). The ETU campus communication toolkit, event toolkit, and social media toolkit are also available for free to customize for use on your campus for events, outreach and other prevention activities.