Trash the Ash

For the past ten years Chabot College Nurse Practitioner Tricia Gonsman MSN, FNP has hosted “Trash the Ash.” This event brings awareness to students here on Chabot campus about the effects that tobacco products can have on someone’s body, like cancer. Yes, Tobacco is addictive, but she helps and encourages students to stop using Tobacco.

“What we are trying to get across is that we know that it’s difficult for people to quit, but the goal is we want to be there to support people and our students, yet, try to encourage them to quit smoking and stop using tobacco products. The hazardous effect of smoking is heart repertory C.O.P.D., and breathing problems. They can cause cancers (Lungs, kidney oral and bladder). The fact that it’s expensive and it smells, your fingers can turn yellow also.” Says Nurse Tricia Gonsman.

At the “Trash the Ash” event there were two students from Foothill College on a repository program volunteering. The repository program is an organization which raises awareness for lung disease. Their names are Eliza Tram and Pree Thirao.

“Smoking is a big issue. With the money you’re using on tobacco, you can use it on a vacation or something. With everything going on with the natural disasters and air quality, it isn’t good. Think about all the newborn and children breathing in all that smoke in the air” says Eliza Tram.

With states like, California, Arizona, Colorado, New York and another 25 states that have a statewide smoking ban, there are states that don’t. In states like Texas and Wyoming, there are no statewide smoking and no indoor smoking bans.

According to an article in the CBS NEWS called “Smoking Bans Spreading Butts Some States Still Love Smokers” it had stated that “Some other states have less restrictive laws, like requiring smoking areas with separate ventilation. Only seven states have no indoor smoking restrictions, although some of their cities do: Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

Student Ta’mari Vandross says, “I don’t smoke. I don’t like the smell of it. I do think it’s good that you can’t smoke on campus because smoking affects people’s health and that’s not good for us, not only us but our environment.”

Another student Sallison McCullough added. “I’m a Mother, and I don’t smoke. The smell is nasty, and the stuff that they put into the cigarettes isn’t meant for humans at all. It’s very disgusting. I know someone who smokes, and it’s very addictive.”

The things that are put into cigarettes are harmful and nasty. Formaldehyde (a chemical that is used to preserve the dead), Vinyl Chloride (used to make plastics), Arsenic (used for rat poison), Cadmium (used in batteries), Hydrogen Cyanide (was used to kill people in the gas chamber during World War II in Nazi Germany. There are other harmful products in cigarettes.

For those who smoke know that it’s addictive and it’s very hard to quit. The California Smokers’ Helpline is a program that can help smokers quit. They were founded in 1992. The number is 1-800-NO-BUTTS.

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