Penn College Awarded Grant for Smoking-Cessation Programs

Williamsport – Pennsylvania College of Technology’s PA-SWAT organization — Pennsylvania Students Working Against Tobacco — has received $5,000 toward its ongoing anti-smoking initiatives.Funded by a Pennsylvania Department of Health grant through Clarion University, PA-SWAT assists with planning and implementing health and wellness programs focused on tobacco cessation throughout the academic year at Penn College. Annual health-promotion activities include national events such as the Great American Smokeout in November and Kick Butts Day in March, as well as a number of smoking-cessation services that are offered on campus.

Through their healthy choices and willingness to talk about them — and to be role models to their fellow students — PA-SWAT members create positive social norms that help build a foundation for a healthy campus environment. According to the group’s 2008-09 action plan, members are effective in helping others make healthier choices by providing information, challenging incorrect attitudes, confronting unhealthy behavior and, if necessary, referring students to professional help.

“This grant will give us the ability to expand our anti-smoking campaign, promote smoking-cessation opportunities and grow the organization at Penn College,” said Kristi L. Hammaker, PA-SWAT coordinator and the college’s health and fitness specialist. “I’m excited about the impact PA-SWAT will have on the campus environment.”

Activities this year have included seminars offered through the West Branch Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission, and there are plans to recruit new members, conduct a survey of smoking beliefs and behaviors, and conduct a poster campaign to remind the campus community of Penn College’s Smoke-Free Zone policy.

Students involved in PA-SWAT also have the opportunity to attend regional and statewide events and training.

For more information about the PA-SWAT program, visit http://www.paswat.com. For more about Student Health Services at Penn College, visit http://www.pct.edu/studenthealth or call (570) 320-5234.

For general information about Penn College, visit http://www.pct.edu, e-mail admissions@pct.edu or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.

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