Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative urges campus community to ‘Think Big, Breathe Easy’

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Susan Guevremont, registered nurse and health educator at URI Health Services, left, tagline contest winner Grant Pierce and student intern Nicole Rescigno at this year’s Kick Butts Day, part of the University’s Tobacco-Free Initiative. URI photo by Mike Salerno.

KINGSTON, R.I.- April 10, 2018- As part of the campus-wide tobacco-free initiative, committee members working on the initiative announced the winner of a tagline competition for all University of Rhode Island students. Ninety-seven entries were submitted in February and later reviewed by the committee, which chose “Think Big, Breathe Easy” as the winner.

Grant Pierce, a sophomore double major in film media and communications, crafted the winning tagline.

“I thought something that was short and played into the University’s idea of thinking big would be an effective and familiar way to reach out to members of the community,” explained the Bristol, R.I. native.

“The phrase ‘breathe easy’ is one that I hope will promote and encourage healthy habits and may be more welcoming to students than other anti-smoking campaigns that tend to be more antagonistic toward smokers,” explained Pierce who won a Fitbit Blaze for crafting the winning tagline.

Tobacco-Free Committee Co-Chair Ellen Reynolds, director of URI Health Services, discussed the process behind choosing a winner from the almost 100 submissions. She said student intern and senior health studies major Nicole Rescigno played a vital role in helping the committee decide on a winner.

“Nicole distributed the taglines to committee members for review and requested each member submit their top three choices,” explained Reynolds. “The committee narrowed it down to two options and decided that ‘Think Big, Breathe Easy’ was the winner.”

Reynolds explained that the committee felt this tagline supports the University’s brand while conveying a strong health message for all.

“We were pleased to see the strong feedback from the campus community and are looking forward to using this tagline on our communications regarding the Tobacco-Free campus policy moving forward,” said Reynolds.

The tobacco-free initiative is supported by a $20,000 grant from the American Cancer Society and CVS Health Foundation to advocate for, adopt and implement 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies.

The grant is part of the American Cancer Society’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative, funded by the CVS Health Foundation, to deliver the first tobacco-free generation by accelerating and expanding the number of campuses across the country that prohibit smoking and tobacco use.

Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release.