Great American Smokeout comes to Skyline
On Nov. 18, Skyline College held an event called the Great American Smokeout, where officials from various anti-smoking organizations gathered together in the cafeteria.
The event began at 9:30a.m. and lasted till about 1p.m. Doctors and professionals attending the event were stationed at different booths, giving information to students, as well as free respiratory inspections to anyone who was willing to sit down and volunteer.
Each booth contained either pamphlets, a real organ from a smoker, or the aforementioned respiratory inspections.
Such inspections included: pulmonary function, oxygen saturation, heart rate, and blood pressure; there was even a booth giving out free acupuncture. Students who volunteered were given a signed slip indicating their participation, which entitled them to extra credit.
The Great American Smokeout has been going on at Skyline for 10 years now.
Brian Daniel, a clinical coordinator for the respiratory therapy program at Skyline, was present at the event, educating students about the dangers of smoking and encouraging passersby’s to get tested. Daniel was has been in the Respiratory field for 25 years and has been employed at Skyline for six.
“What we’re trying to do is discourage those who are into cigarette smoking, and to give them an evaluation–a physical assessment of their health,” Daniel said. “This will hopefully discourage a lot of people from cigarette smoking.”
According to Daniel, most, if not every student, who participated in the inspections that morning scored in the normal indicating that they were in good health.
”Students here have great health right now, let’s keep it that way,” Daniel said in response to the overall normal scores. “Don’t use cigarettes.”
Another Skyline official present at the event was Emily Risk, one of the part-time nurses at Skyline College’s nurse’s office.
According to Risk, they do the Great American Smokeout in unison with the respiratory therapy department.
“I think it’s great, getting awareness out to students about smoking and how people can quit. It is important,” Risk said. “And to let them know we’re supporting our smoke free policy on campus and giving people the opportunity to quit, should they want to”
When Risk heard that all the students, up until that point, had scored in the normal, she responded with the utmost satisfaction.
“I think that’s great—that is awesome. Our student population is an incredible group of people,” Risk said. “They’re really proactive with their health and, as you can see, their interested in being healthier”.
Some students, like Nicole Cruz, sat down to take every respiratory test available that day in an attempt to see how healthy she was.
“I got my heart rate done, my blood pressure, oxygen saturation test, and flow rate,” Cruz said. “[I] did pretty [well], but since I have asthma, my peak flow meter was lower than normal”.
According to Cruz, taking the tests felt pretty good–expressing that it was good to know that most of her tests were normal and that she would definitely recommends it to her friends.
Other officials besides Skyline’s own were present at the event; some of whom were non-profit and from other colleges.
One such organization was Breathe California, a non-profit organization that provides free classes and resources.
“We’re a lung health non-profit, so today we are going to try and get people to stop smoking,” said Vince Mazzaferro, a communications intern from Breathe California. “We provide free quit smoking classes in Daly City, where people can get group therapy. We also provide people with a lot of free material like the patch and Nicorette gum.”
According to Mazzaferro, classes start in January for six days, spanning over six weeks, giving people the chance to work off the holiday addictions.
“[This is] important because everyone knows how bad smoking is but not a lot of people realize the amount of resources they have out there for them to get help,” Mazzaferro said.
Another organization trying to help out students was the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a college that specializes in traditional medicine, massage, nutrition, consultations, and acupuncture.
Yu-men Chiu, a representative from the college, was at the event passing out pamphlets and giving out free ear acupuncture.
“We provide traditional Chinese acupuncture. Today’s event is primarily to get people to stop smoking and to bring awareness to proper health,” Chiu said. “We want to help however possible, and we can also help with people’s health conditions.”
Among the many students who got free acupuncture was Charity Walden, the president of Beta Theta Omicron, as she was eager to try it out.
“I’ve always thought [acupuncture] was an interesting thing. I’ve always believed in it, and I wanted to learn more,” Walden said. “By participating in it, I thought I was taking a good first step in learning more about it.”
In addition to learning more about a technique that she found interesting, Walden also had other reasons for wanting to try it.
“I told [Chiu] I was feeling stress in my back,” Walden said. “I don’t know if it was just sitting there for 15 minutes relaxing, or the needles themselves, but my back did feel better…until I went to a new area to do homework.”