Surgeon General to Ducks: “Kick Butt”
U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin is on board with helping the University of Oregon kick butt, and has a t-shirt to prove the point.
Josh Buehler, an undergraduate biology major at the UO, presented Benjamin a “Ducks Kick Butt” shirt at a recent Youth and Tobacco Town Hall in Seattle. The June 14 event – sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – included discussions by Buehler and Paula Staight, the UO’s director of health promotion, on the university’s leadership in tobacco cessation efforts.
The UO will become smoke- and tobacco-free this fall.
Buehler served on a panel of students and other youth representatives who talked with Benjamin about tobacco use issues. He and Staight later served on a panel that discussed tobacco-free campus initiatives. They presented marketing and awareness strategies for the UO’s smoke- and tobacco-free initiative, and information about the university’s cessation support for students.
Buehler, who be chair of the UO’s Student Health Advisory Committee for the coming academic year, presented the Duck t-shirt to Benjamin at a reception following the event. Staight said later that Buehler “was treated like a rock star,” and another participant joked that he could ask the Surgeon General for a letter of recommendation to get into medical school.
The Town Hall was held in response to the Surgeon General’s report on Youth and Tobacco that was released in March. The Seattle event focused on the facts that tobacco use is theleading cause of preventable and premature death in the U.S., killing an estimated 443,000 Americans each year; and that nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood.
Benjamin discussed her recent report, and the event also featured talks by Lawrence Deyton, director of the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products, on the FDA’s action agenda for tobacco product regulation; and by Timothy McAfee, director of the Centers for Disease Control Office on Smoking and Health, on the CDC’s national campaign to reduce tobacco use.
The meeting was intended for public health professionals, tobacco use prevention specialists, educators, advocates, policy makers and young people from around the Pacific Northwest.