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WTIC 1080 News Report Featuring Dr. Patrick Campbell

Clean Air, a Healthier You

Effective November 18, the UConn Health Center is an entirely smoke-free campus. Learn more at

The Health Center has gone cold turkey

A poster for the Health Center’s smoke-free celebration November 18 is one of many promotional materials generated by the Clean Air Committee over the last year.

Feature Story

Health Center Today, November 18, 2010

Health Center Stamps Out Smoking

By Chris DeFrancesco

The UConn Health Center is now a 100 percent smoke-free campus.

Enactment of the new policy was timed to coincide with the American Cancer Society’s 2010 Great American Smokeout.

State law already prohibits smoking in any state building and within 50 feet of an entrance to a state building. Smoking was outlawed inside John Dempsey Hospital in 1990. The new policy bans tobacco use anywhere on the Health Center campus.

“It is our duty to promote healthy living and provide a healthy environment by eliminating tobacco smoke everywhere on our grounds,” says Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs and medical school dean.

The Health Center first committed to becoming smoke-free a year ago and began a carefully planned endeavor to engage and inform not only staff, patients and visitors, but also faculty, students, contractors, vendors, and the community.

That campaign intensified over the last month, when daily “Countdown to a Smoke-free Campus” calendars in the main and academic lobbies joined the signage that already had been in place throughout the campus for several weeks prior, some longer.

Other efforts include:

  • Informational booths throughout the campus, as well as at the Cell and Genome Sciences Building and the clinical offices in West Hartford and East Hartford, on the first smoke-free day, offering copies of the actual policy, details on available smoking cessation studies, interaction with employees who’ve successfully quit smoking, and a chance to win cold turkey—in this case, one of 80 frozen Thanksgiving turkeys to be awarded.
  • A free presentation by the St. Vincent’s SmokeStoppers November 10, with ex-smokers Maryellen Bolcer and Susan Richards talking about the dangers of tobacco and the real story behind why a person smokes.
  • A lunch-and-learn workshop November 1 offering information about smoking-cessation resources available at the Health Center and in the community.

More information about the Health Center’s smoke-free movement is available at

Photo of Sherry Tilsch, Malissa Trainor, Connie Simons and Chris Burns

Maryellen Bolcer of the St. Vincent Smokestoppers uses a jar of cigarette butts to demonstrate how people react differently to the smell of cigarettes. Lined up from left to right are Health Center employees Sherry Tilsch, Malissa Trainor, Connie Simons and Chris Burns. The Smokestoppers gave a free presentation at the Health Center November 10.

Photo by Alexandra Crean

Photo of Bradley Biskup

Physician assistant Bradley Biskup explains the Calhoun Cardiology Center’s Lifestyle Modification Clinic during a panel discussion about smoking cessation resources November 1.

Photo by Chris DeFrancesco

Smoking Cessation Studies at the UConn Health Center

Study Focus

Who's Eligible

Contact Information

Effects of smoking on blood pressure/contingency management Smokers with normal or high blood pressure 860-372-8418
Impact of exercise or relaxation on smoking cessation Postmenopausal women 860-679-3136
Quitting while pregnant Pregnant women 860-545-4536