With the upcoming policy change, smokers are encouraged to participate in Auburn’s “Pack it Up” tobacco cessation initiative.
Pharmacists and pharmacy students encourage those interested in quitting their smoking habit to meet with them one-on-one in person so they can evaluate the person’s interest in changing and readiness professionally.
“Some patients come in and think there’s a magical cure...but, like with any type of behavior change, there has to be dedication to change,” said Kimberly Braxton-Lloyd, assistant dean for Health Services and director of Auburn University’s Pharmaceutical Care Center.
According to Braxton-Lloyd, it’s hard to quit smoking because there is a psychological dependence, and many smokers align certain activities, such as drinking with smoking.
The pharmacists working with the patients help them develop a quit plan and together set a quit date to prepare for.
If the patient lives with roommates, they are informed that the patient is trying to quit as well.
The pharmacists assist in selecting a medication, if appropriate for the patient, such as the over-the-counter nicotine patch, gum, lozenges, or, in more extreme circumstances, even prescription nasal spray or inhalers and non-nicotine medications.
The patient will meet with the pharmacists so they can help to monitor the efficacy of tobacco cessation and the safety of the medications.
The program monitors the exhaled carbon monoxide levels so that the smoker can see the change. Patients are normally in the program for three to six months.
The program cost is covered once for employees if they are enrolled in the University’s health insurance.
The University also provides a $120 stipend for over-the-counter medications.
For students the cost of the program is $120, and if the smoker has been clean for three months, he or she will get a $60 refund.
The program is billed through the bursar’s office and over-the-counter medications are available through the pharmacy at a discounted price.
Members of the Auburn community also have the option to volunteer as patients in a pharmacy course titled "early pharmacy practice experience."
The patient will receive extra support and monitoring for their health and wellness needs and the pharmacy students gain experience.
Interested students or staff may contact Kathy Kyle at (334) 844-8345 for more information on how to volunteer.
The policy change has received mixed reactions, but according to Michael Freeman, the hazardous materials technician in the University’s Risk Management and Safety Department, most of Auburn’s faculty and staff have a positive reaction to the new smoking policy.
Claire McEntire, sophomore in pre-marketing and communications, said she is a smoker, but doesn’t think the policy will affect her because it is not difficult for her to wait until she gets off of campus to smoke.
Taylor Tyus, senior in finance, said he is in favor of the new smoking policy because some of her family members are asthmatic and are easily affected by secondhand smoke.
“I like it because it’s something very personal to me and people don’t seem to consider those with asthma as much as they should in regards to smoking,” Tyus said. “They seem to only think about the lung cancer and effects of second-hand smoke on a person’s body. Some don’t realize just how large the spectrum of people it [smoking] affects is.”