Event teaches about effects of smoking on dogs and students
Smoking is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, but what many people do not know about are the drastic impacts smoking can have on pets.
The Stomp, Romp and Wag third annual event, held today at the trees next to the lagoon from 1:30 to 4 p.m. hopes to educate people about the effects of smoking both on pets and themselves.
"The goal of the event is to increase awareness of secondhand smoke on pets," said Leah Stangel, coordinator of promotion for the event. "A lot of college students have pets and take care of them very seriously, and a lot of people don't realize the effects of secondhand smoke."
If a dog or cat is around secondhand smoke consistently, cancer and allergic reactions are just some of the most serious dangers.
The event is also geared towards helping students kick their smoking habits.
"Tobacco use on campus is about 35 percent, which is double that of Fort Collins," said Gwen Sieving, a health educator for Hartshorn Health Services and director of the tobacco cessation program. "The 18 to 24 age group is the most targeted by tobacco companies."
There are many new activities for students and dogs alike.
"One new addition is the dog spa, which is free of charge," Sieving said. "There'll be a local vet doing dental works, certified vet technicians clipping nails and a behaviorist so if you're having behavior problems, you can ask an expert."
Dog massages will also be available during the spa, which goes from 2 to 4 p.m.
Another big event is Doggie Idol, in which 10 pets will demonstrate their best tricks, with the first-prize winner receiving an iPod for their owner.
"We also have a speaker from the vet school speaking on the effects of smoking," Sieving said.
Aside from all the information on pets, the program's goal is also to help students quit smoking.
"We want to give information on quitting and make sure students know they have resources," Stangel said. "We're trying to get people to change their smoking habits."
It is hoped that through this event, students' concern for their pets will help them to stop smoking.
"We need to be mindful of the fact that animals are silent," said Robin Woodley, a junior art major.
All are encouraged to stop by and enjoy the event.
"We're trying to put more of a cheerful spin on a dangerous issue," Sieving said.