CU Students help Break Addictive Habits Through a Tobacco Cessation Program and Education

For Immediate Release: 
May 09 2006

CU Students help Break Addictive Habits Through a Tobacco Cessation Program and Education

Athens, W.Va. – The Concord University Against Tobacco Coalition hosted a luncheon at Ryan’s Restaurant in Princeton on Thursday, May 4, to share the results of their recent survey and tobacco cessation program on the Athens campus with program sponsors and invited guests.

Travis Helmondollar, a freshman from Montcalm majoring in biology and a member of the Against Tobacco Coalition Tobacco Advisory Committee, welcomed guests and proceeded to share the results of their efforts along with Amanda Woods, a junior from Charleston who is majoring in psychology and social work. Woods serves as the coordinator of Against Tobacco at Concord University and is also currently the co-chair for the statewide movement.

The presenters shared general information about the effects of tobacco smoke and the use of spit tobacco, analyzed recent clean indoor air regulations, conducted surveys and interviews with students and administrators, and launched a tobacco cessation initiative.

According to the Coalition, almost 440,000 people die from smoking-related illnesses in the U.S. every year, and tobacco contains formaldehyde, arsenic, polonium, cadmium, cyanide and lead.

In October 2005, Mercer County passed a Clean Indoor Air Regulation that forbids the use of tobacco in select public places. According to survey results, more than half of the respondents at Concord knew of the regulation.

Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed reported using tobacco. The Coalition initiated a tobacco cessation program on campus. Three students began the program and two successfully quit the use of a tobacco product as a result of the program.

The Against Tobacco Coalition was formed in 2005 through a Department of Tobacco Prevention grant. The Coalition has been working on the campus of Concord University to educate students about tobacco and manage a tobacco cessation program. They collaborated with SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and the Bonner Scholars.

Other students who helped with the efforts and are on the Against Tobacco Coalition’s Tobacco Advisory Committee included Maitreyi Doshi, a senior majoring in graphic design from Pune, India, Ning “Emily” Jiang, a sophomore majoring in education, from Anshan, China, and Krasimira Shapkarova, a senior majoring in psychology from Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Donald Reed, an alumnus of Concord University and former Bonner Scholar, worked with the Coalition. He is the regional tobacco prevention coalition coordinator.

The Coalition will give the presentation again in the fall 2006 semester. They hope to partner with administrators on campus to enhance tobacco prevention efforts.

To find out more about the Against Tobacco Coalition or join their efforts, you can visit


PHOTO: Maitreyi Doshi, Amanda Woods, Travis Helmondollar, Ning “Emily” Jiang