Smoking discussion to promote cessation

Isaiah Herard

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As Western Illinois University joins the nation in recognizing April as Minority Health Month, the Department of Health Sciences and Social Work presents an interactive discussion known as “Let Go of the Chimney.”

The smoking cessation discussion concentrates on the impact of smoking and how it affects minority communities. In addition, it also offers suggestions and resources for members of the Western Illinois University community to take advantage of, should they choose to eliminate the habit.

The discussion will be presented by Health Science majors Olufunke Fadahunsi, Nneka Ibeh and Uyiosa Chukwuka; facilitated by Dr. Maureen Bezold.

According to Uyiosa Chukwuka, smoking is very detrimental to the Western community and the cons of smoking greatly outweigh the pros.

“We are hoping to get people to know the effects of tobacco use and how it affects your health,” Chukwuka said. “There are so many effects like lung cancer and bronchitis; there are just so many. And then when you refuse to let go of the chimney, let go of the cigarettes, the health problems will continue to get worse.”

Chukwuka says the ultimate goal of “Let Go of the Chimney” is to reduce the use of cigarettes in the Western community and create healthy alternatives.

“We just need to create that awareness and reiterate the fact that smoking is just not good,” Chukwuka said. “Ensuring that people get to learn the affects and in a long time learn to quit. We suggest different ways to quit for habitual users. It’s difficult, but it’s possible.”

Although deterring habitual smokers away from cigarettes will hold a high degree of difficulty, Chukwuka invited Professor Shankar Ghimire from the Economics and Decision Sciences department to illustrate his personal experience and how he quit smoking for good.

“We invited Professor Shankar because he has experience with smoking and he really quit smoking,” Chukwuka said. “I think by the time the professor comes out and tells the audience how he quits, the audience will rethink and quit. When you get to see a life example of somebody who went through it, quit and is living better, I think it will inspire more people to quit.”


Chukwuka hopes to reach her community at Western because they are more likely to understand the major health risks associated with smoking; therefore reducing the amount of cigarette smokers on campus by becoming the voice of reason and change.

“The Western community is who we hope to reach,” ,Chukwuka said. “From the faculty, to the staff, to the students—both graduate and undergraduate students. Being a public health personnel, we can use our methods of deterrence to really make them understand why they should really quit.”

“Let Go of the Chimney” is set to occur this Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Board Room of the University Union, and admission is free to all. For more information about “Let Go of the Chimney,” contact Uyiosa Chukwuka via email at

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