You see them lying in the gutter, spidering their way through sidewalks, strewn about otherwise tidy lawns and even casually sitting in benches. It seems cigarette butts can often be found everywhere but seldom in the proper receptacles.
On Wednesday, Oct. 30, Cigarette Butt Clean-Up Day, a campus-wide event hosted by Wright State’s Community Health Education Program, volunteers will sweep Wright State clean of littered cigarette butts.
Mary Chace, Ph.D., assistant professor and community health education advisor, is heralding the event with the vision of bringing the attention of students, staff and faculty to the tobacco use in the Wright State community.
“We also hope to raise awareness about not only cigarette butt litter and toxins but also how timely and crucial it is that we consider a 100 percent tobacco-free policy at WSU,” said Chace.
The event kicks off at 10 a.m. and volunteers are to convene at a central table in the Quad, where gloves and bags will be given out. Volunteers will then be dispatched in small groups to walk throughout campus, snatching any butt lying on the ground.
According to Chace, there will be tobacco cessation specialists, information on the Ohio Quit-Line and tips for quitting smoking available at the event.
“We would also like to give students an outlet to express how they feel about this issue and actively participate in a solution,” said Chace. “We will have a poster board where students can write questions and comments for the WSU Tobacco Policy Committee.”
The event was inspired by Mike Theobald, one of Chace’s former students. In a health program planning course, Theobald designed a tobacco prevention program for high school students. According to Chace, Theobald shared his personal experience with being a former smoker and the difficulties of quitting—something that helped other students in the health program planning course to internalize and become advocates for tobacco reform.
“We started looking into the issue and learned that the Ohio Board of Regents has strongly recommended that college campuses adoption 100 percent tobacco-free campus policies,” said Chace. “We see that universities around us are moving in that direction and wondered why our students deserve anything less.”
Thus, the Cigarette Butt Clean-Up Day was created with the goal of quantifying the amount of cigarette butts around Wright State’s campus and to give students and the WSU community an outlet for expression.
For more information on Cigarette Butt Clean-Up Day, registration options or the health-related and environmental detriment cigarette butt litter can cause, visit Mary Chace’s blog at http://blogs.wright.edu/learn/marychace/.