GCC Joins Initiative to Help Students Quit Smoking

Posted 6 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Financial Incentive Available for Students

Press Release, Genesee Community College

BATAVIA, NY – Genesee Community College encourages students who want to quit smoking to join a state-wide study that uses an innovative, internet-based program to help beat the cigarette habit. Conducted by University of Rochester researcher Dr. Scott McIntosh, the study is testing the effectiveness of a promising new tool in smoking cessation, Web-Assisted Tobacco Intervention (WATI).

Dr. McIntosh is looking to recruit 1,440 community college students of all ages from around New York to participate in the study. So far 400 students from SUNY community colleges have signed up.

“Community college students are a growing population, and smoking remains a substantial health concern in their demographic,” Dr. McIntosh said.

Statistics indicate that while 16% of the general population smokes, the number is substantially higher, 28-30%, at community colleges.

Students can register online to participate in the study at wati.urmc.edu or they may call (585) 276-6243. Once registered, they’ll be asked to complete surveys at 1, 6, and 12 months into the program. Each completed survey earns them a financial reward; $10 at 1 month, $15 at 6 months, and $20 at 12 months for a total of $45, whether or not they quit smoking.

“This is a great opportunity for students who want to quit smoking but haven’t figured out what the first step is,” said Dr. Virginia Taylor, GCC vice president for Student and Enrollment Services. “We hope many of our students who smoke will give quitting a try. They have nothing to lose and much to gain.”

WATI requires no special travel and students are able to go at their own pace. All they need is an internet connection. All students who are ready to quit and who want help quitting on the internet will be referred to a FREE treatment website, even if they decide not to join this study. The study is being funded by the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute).