Help for those who want to kick the habit

By Shakira Bates

Students hoping to quit smoking are in luck.

NIU offers assistance programs for quitting on campus available for students and faculty.

Karen Smith, Employee Assistance Program (EAP) specialist, said EAP has ended and the Health Enhancement program has taken over some of the responsibilities.

“We are no longer doing the program because of the low enrollment rates,” Smith said.

The Heath Enhancement program picked up the program and offers smoking cessations services to any student who is ready to quit smoking.

Health Promotion Specialist Alicia Czachowski said she believes she has seen a difference from these services.

“I have noticed less smoking on campus,” Czachowski said.

After the Smoke-Free Illinois Act took effect in Jan. 2008, the NIU smoking policy was revised with additions of required actions.

The Smoke-Free Illinois Act required smokers to be at least 15 feet away from any public passer ways and windows. These limitations had to be added to NIU’s existing smoking policy.

According to the NIU Smoking Policy Memorandum, “The Smoke Free Illinois Act is a state statute… All employees and students are legally required to comply with the provisions of this state statute.”

The memorandum also states that fines can be issued in violation of the policy, which could be seen as motivation to quit smoking.

Smoke-Free Illinois Act’s website has information and resources for those smokers who hope to quit.

Although Czachowski said she noticed a difference, the program still offers their assistance because there are still smokers on campus.

“We offer the X-treme air program which provides students with coaching and quit kits,” Czachowski said. “The program consists of two meetings.

First is a meeting to get information about the student.

Second is to make out the plan to quit.”

Anyone looking to sign up for the program is welcomed to stop into the Chick Evans Field House. The main office is in Room 139.

“The program has been terribly quiet this semester,” Czachowski said.

“But we are trying to get the program out there more to let students know we exist.”