URI reschedules Kick Butts Day to April 4

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 |

KINGSTON, R.I. — April 3, 2018 — If you were hoping to get support for kicking your nicotine habit at the University of Rhode Island’s Kick Butts Day on March 21, but were foiled by the weather that closed state offices, don’t worry. You have another chance.

URI’s Tobacco-Free Committee has rescheduled the event to April 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the main lobby of Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road.

“It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t participate earlier when schools and other institutions across the nation participated in the national event,” said Ellen Reynolds, director of URI Health Services and co-chair of URI’s Tobacco-Free Initiative. “But all of the educational and fun components scheduled for the original date will be part of our program on April 4.”

Nicole Rescigno, a senior health studies major from Glen Cove, N.Y, who is an intern at Health Services and a member of the committee, said anyone trying to quit smoking, vaping, JUULING or chewing tobacco, or family and friends who would like them to quit, should come.

Reynolds, who chairs the URI committee with Deb Riebe, associate dean of the College of Health Sciences, said those who attend Kick Butts Day can play trivia games and possibly win prizes as part of event activities.

“We’ll also be offering Quit Kits, and other smoking cessation information to help people quit,” Reynolds said.

First held in 1996, Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free KIds that empowers young people to fight the tobacco industry. The event goals are:

  • Raise community awareness of the problem of tobacco use;
  • Encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free; and
  • Urge elected officials to take action to protect kids from tobacco.

Studies show that many students start smoking or using nicotine devices when they begin college.

Work toward a tobacco-free campus began in September after the University was awarded a $20,000 grant from the American Cancer Society’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative, which is funded by the CVS Health Foundation. The goal of the initiative is to help create the first tobacco-free generation by accelerating and expanding the number of campuses across the country that prohibit smoking and tobacco use.

URI’s Tobacco-Free Committee, which has representation from all University sectors, began meeting last fall. It is in the process of finalizing a Tobacco-Free Campus Policy, which will address tobacco cessation assistance, exceptions to the policy and enforcement.

The Tobacco-Free initiative will lead to a prohibition of cigarettes, cigars, electronic devices and all smokeless tobacco products at URI. The University has joined more than 1,900 schools to become tobacco free.

In addition, the College of Pharmacy is joining efforts to help members of the community quit. It seeks participants through May 2019 for a smoking cessation study. The email for the study is URIquit@gmail.com.