The Truth Behind Cigarettes

During a recent visit from my dad I received some wonderful news. He has been cigarette free for a week and is currently using the nicotine patch to completely quit. This was huge news for me because for as long as I can remember he has been smoking. Smoking cigarettes is not only harmful to the smoker, but also to the people around them. People didn’t always know the truth behind the cigarette, but these days there are a lot of facts one should know before picking up a pack. Of course choosing to smoke is entirely up to you, but I here are some things to think about first-

  • Lead, tar, acetone, and arsenic are just some of the over 7000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Acetone is something found in nail polish and arsenic is in rat poison.
  • Every 6 seconds someone dies from a smoking related illness or disease.
  • Each cigarette you smoke reduces your life span by 11 minutes and smokers die 13 to 14 years early than non-smokers.
  • Smoking is linked to different kinds of cancer including but not limited to bladder, kidney, mouth, throat, lung, and stomach cancers.
  • Smoking can also linked to things like infertility, pneumonia, and heart disease.
  • Smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, illegal drugs, alcohol, murders, suicides, and car accidents combined.
  • Secondhand smoke causes more than 41,000 deaths each year.

Smoking may seem fun, cool, or relieve stress, but there is a lot more behind this habit. I hope this helped you see the other side of cigarettes and gave you an idea of the things smoking cigarettes can do.


American Lung Association. (n.d.). Health Effects. Retrieved from

American Lung Association. (n.d.). What’s in a Cigarette?. Retrieved from

Stop My Smoking. (n.d.). Scary Smoking Facts. Retrieved from

The Truth. (n.d.). The Facts. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.) Tobacco Facts and Figures. Retrieved from

Written by Kim Brosius, Peer Educator

Drive While Boozin’, You’ll be Losin’

Did you know that on average, two in three people will experience a drunk driving crash in their lifetime? Car accidents are the leading cause of people ages 16 to 19. The rate of drunk driving itself is highest 21 to 25 year olds.

Why does alcohol effect driving so much? Alcohol is a depressant that causes the nervous system to slow down. A person is no longer able to function properly because their brain functions are delayed. Judgment, concentration, and reaction time are all crucially impaired when alcohol is consumed. Be responsible and do not risk the possibility of becoming a drunk driver!

Go out and have fun, but let someone else do the driving:

  1. Choose a designated driver. This person should be one that has not drank at all.
  2. Call a taxi, take public transportation or arrange to be picked up by a sober friend.
  3. If you see that a friend is drinking, take their keys from them.
  4. Spend the night wherever the activity is being held.

If you are on the road and suspect a potential drunk driver, first pull over. Dial the highway patrol or the police. Get the license plate number to give to the police and provide them with your location.

Not only are drunk drivers risking themselves, but others on the road as well. If you see someone that is drunk, and you are aware that they plan on leaving to drive home, do not let them! Be the one to speak up and help them to make a safer choice.

Written by Christina Gantt, Peer Educator

The Hunting Ground: Bringing Misconduct Into the Light

On Thursday October 1st, the Women’s Center and Wellness Promotion in conjunction with SAC hosted an open screening of The Hunting Ground. The documentary features real stories from across the country of the disturbing reality of college rape culture- stories that are mishandled and ignored action by administrators. From allegations of sexual misconduct stemming from college athletes to fraternities to Ivy League schools, The Hunting Ground surprises and deeply angers audiences that not enough action has happened to support the survivors, bring justice to the perpetrators, and affirm a safe environment on certain college campuses.

hunting ground

Though much effort has been given on many campuses across the United States, such as the Green Dot initiative here on West Chester’s campus, there is always more that can be done to ensure that students, faculty, staff, and administration across all campuses are committed to providing a safe community.

Interested in learning more about The Hunting Ground? Check out the trailer here and watch The Hunting Ground when it is aired by CNN on November 19th at 9:00pm  EST.

Written by Pat Githens, Peer Educator


Tips to Stress Less

Nine times out of ten I can describe myself as a walking ball of stress. Between schoolwork, extra curricular activities, work, and attempting a social life being a college student can get really tough. Being stressed out is not the end of the world. There are many steps that you can take to manage your stress and keep it under control.

  • Stay active! While this includes going to the gym you can also try going for a walk, riding your bike, or even taking your dog for a walk.
  • Adopt a healthy diet. Start your day with breakfast and work on eating nutritious meals to nourish your body and mind.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
  • Engage socially. Try to confide in someone and make sure to take time away from your stressors.
  • Work on time management. Compose a schedule and try to stick to a routine.
  • Avoid using things like drinking alcohol or smoking to manage your stress.
  • Minimize procrastination and avoiding work by watching TV or going on the computer.

Overall I believe it is important to look at how far you’ve come. Being a college student will never be easy and no one will blame you for feeling like you can’t do it, but you can. With the right mind set, support system, and rocking attitude anything is possible. I hope the next time stress begins to get you down you pause and think about what you can do to help the situation instead of giving up.

Written by Kim Brosius, Peer Educator

What are Eating Disorders?

It is thought that eating disorders only affect women. While women are largely affected, men can also have disordered eating. An estimated 25% of college students have an eating disorder. Anyone of any age, ethnicity, and gender can be affected by eating disorders. Eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia Nervosa– Is an extreme restriction of food intake due to an intense fear of with weight gain. Patients with anorexia nervosa have an abnormally low body weight and exercise compulsively.
  • Bulimia Nervosa– Is a cycle of behaviors related to binging (episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food) and purging (self-induced vomiting- could also include use of laxatives).
  • Binge-Eating Disorder– Frequently consuming large amounts of food and feeling unable to stop eating causes this type of disorder. Some may feel like they lack food control and cannot resist urges.
  • Orthorexia– Is an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Often orthorexia starts as an interest in healthy eating, but over time the interest is replaced by extreme eating restrictions.

All eating disorders are serious and can be potentially life threatening if left untreated. Treatment methods are available through clinics and are individualized to help target ones specific needs. If you or anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, seek help immediately. For more information call: 1-800-931-2237 or visit:

Written by Claudia Miriello, Peer Educator

Science behind Social Media

Social media sites have had a large impact on our society, especially on college smstudents. While they serve as an excellent way to stay connected with social circles, family members, and possible job opportunities, there are some effects that come into play that may not be so pretty. Have you ever wondered about some of the effects social media may have on you, personally? Do you check social media first thing in the morning and last thing at night? Have you ever felt a phantom vibration?

Check out the video below and find out more about the science behind how social media may be affecting you!

Written by Allie Fonseca, Peer Educator

Fast Food without Fat Food

We live in a busy, fast-paced world where everyone’s schedules are hectic, especially for college students! Not only do you have a semester load of classes, homework and on top of that, fitting in time to work. Sometimes we don’t have time to pack the nutritious and healthy lunch that we know we should.  During busy times, we are drawn to convenience of fast food.  Here are some healthier choices at all of our favorites, without the side of guilt, during those hectic times.



Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

360 calories

32 g protein

6 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 0 g trans)

930 mg sodium

43 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber, 11 g sugars)



Burrito Bowl with Steak, Black Beans, Fajita Veggies, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Cheese, and Romaine Lettuce

460 calories

46 g protein

15.5 g fat (7 g saturated)

                                                                  1,150 mg sodium

                                                                36 g carbohydrates (15 g fiber, 8 g sugar)

Taco Bell

burritoShredded Chicken Burrito

400 calories

16 g protein

18 g fat (4.5 g saturated, 0 g trans)

960 mg sodium

45 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar)

Burger King


Veggie Burger

390 calories

21 g protein

16 g fat (2.5 g saturated, 0 g trans)

                      900 mg sodium

                                                              44 g carbohydrates (5 g fiber, 9 g sugar)



Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap

340 calories

36 g protein

13 g fat (5 g saturated, 0 g trans)

900 mg sodium

30 g carbohydrates (15 g fiber, 3 g sugar)

All of these options are just the entree and do not include dressings/sauces, sides, or drinks.  Anything you add to your meal, including sauces, sides and drinks other than water will change the overall nutritional value of your meal.

We all get busy, so in these hectic times it is important that we make our food count by selecting healthier food options that can do more for us.

Written by Steph Caporizzo, Peer Educator

Keeping Up With Your Oral Hygiene

October is National Dental Hygiene Month! Keeping up with your oral hygiene is extremely important to your health. Without regular dental care you could develop cavities, tooth decay, gingivitis, bad breath, and gum disease. Here are some helpful tips to help stay on top of your oral/dental hygiene to avoid these issues!

  • Don’t skip flossing! Flossing removes plaque and build up and is very important in maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
  • Brush your teeth 2 times daily, (Preferably morning and night) for 2-3 minutes.
  • See your dental hygienist once or twice a year to keep up with cleanings.
  • A poor diet filled with sugary foods and drinks may lead to cavities. Limit your intake of these to reduce your chances of developing cavities.
  • Tobacco is the main cause of oral cancers. Eliminate these products to lower your risk.
  • Your toothbrush should be replaced every 2-3 months, and replaced after any illness.
  • Brushing your tongue along with your teeth is a great way to eliminate built up bacteria in your mouth.

Don’t forget to brush up! With every brush, you’re lowering your chances of contracting sicknesses and certain diseases. Your teeth will shine and be pearly white too.


Written by Claudia Miriello, Peer Educator

Safer Sex Is Great Sex


Did you know that one in four college students have an STI!? Yup. The most common STIs to show up in college students are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HPV. So, what’s a college student to do? Have great sex with safer sex.

Use protection. Using barrier methods like male or female condoms, dental dams, gloves, etc. is the best way to protect yourself (and your partner) against STIs. When using a condom, always remember to use a water or silicone based lubricant. Oil based lubricants can weaken a condom, which makes them more likely to tear or break. Free condoms are available at the Women’s Center (2nd floor, Lawrence) and Student Health Services (ground floor, Commonwealth Hall).

Have open communication with your partner. Having open and honest conversations about sex is great for a number of reasons- you can find out about STI status/testing history, make sure everyone is on the same page with protection, and find out what your partner likes and consents to.

Stay educated! Know your STI facts! Know how to protect yourself and your partners, and be aware of different ways STIs can be transmitted and symptoms.

Get screened for STIs. “If I had something I would know it” does not apply here. Many people with STIs show no signs of infection. Some STIs like gonorrhea and chlamydia if left untreated can lead to infertility, so make sure to get tested on a regular basis. STI testing can be done at Student Health Services or Planned Parenthood, or you can join us for Get Yourself Tested Day (GYT) to get free chlamydia and gonorrhea testing and a t-shirt.


10/26 | 10:00a-2:00p

Sykes Ballrooms

2015 GYT Poster

Written by Christina Gantt, Peer Educator

Easing the Big “A” During Fall

With cooler temperatures rolling in and leaves on the trees turning that beautiful color combination of yellow, orange, and green, it’s tempting to not spend the majority of your free time outside soaking it all in. For a lot us on this campus, myself included, this is often a luxury due to the dreaded “a” word…. Allergies.


Despite the effort to medicate ourselves with those glorious anti-histamines, we still emerge from the outside world sneezing and coughing. Allergies: 1, Us: 0. However, there are some tips to manage those symptoms so that you can enjoy all of the awesome things about Fall:

  1. Take your medicine! It’s so easy to forget to take it as you’re running out the door to your first class of the day, but you’ll thank yourself later (trust me).
  1. Take more showers. Besides the benefit of smelling and feeling nice, fresh, and clean, showering also washes away the pollen and other allergens that have covered your body while you were outside.
  1. Know your limits and avoid outdoor activity if needed. As much as we all love being outside during Fall, not feeling those dreaded symptoms being inside versus feeling like death outside sounds much better. Moderation is key, so know when it’s time to come inside and watch your favorite Halloween or horror movie!

Fall is the best season of the year for many reasons: hayrides, tossing around a football, shorts and hoodie weather, and bonfires for days. If you’re one of the lucky few out there with dreaded seasonal allergies, keep up with those preventative tips so that YOU can be out there running around in the leaves with Fall bliss!

Written by Pat Githens, Peer Educator