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Commune to quit

Despite the furry suit, Jenny Kondrasky means business.
Despite the furry suit, Jenny Kondrasky means business.

San Diego club-goers find themselves surrounded by cigarettes outside concert venues and art spaces. Smoking is a way of socializing, fitting in. Or so advertising would have us believe.

Commune Wednesdays has set out to reverse this image by holding quit groups and using art to expose the tactics of tobacco companies. This campaign was started by Rescue Social Change Group, funded through a grant from the University of California, San Francisco. Research conducted by Rescue SCG concluded that many smokers live and/or socialize in the urban core of San Diego. Jenny Kondrasky of Rescue SCG came up with the concept of Commune Wednesdays in 2008 to address this populace.

The last Wednesday of every month, musicians and artists contribute by providing entertainment and illustrating one of the “Big Tobacco Facts” listed on Commune’s website (jointhecommune.com).

Commune finds that art and music not only draw crowds, but it is an effective way to create awareness about Big Tobacco. “People are more responsive to something that is aesthetic...rather than just handing out literature and pamphlets and all that,” says Mike Turi of San Diego psych-pop band Wild Wild Wets, who helped develop Commune in 2008 and performed at this year’s Halloween Commune.

“We tried to figure out a way to help people quit but in an environment they might actually go to,” says Kondrasky. Commune’s quit groups are held at local bars to break the association of drinking and smoking. After the first few pilot groups, surveys taken by Commune indicated that their quit groups have a 25 percent success rate for those who want to “club” and quit smoking.

Celeste Byers, an artist who will participate in the next Commune Wednesday, says, “At the last Commune event, people were smoking cigarettes. It’s, like, ‘Hey, guys, you’re not supposed to be doing that here.’ At least it gets people to think about [quitting].”

Commune Wednesday at the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park on November 28 will also include indie-rock band New Mexico and DJ Clinebell Express.

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“Anytime you have a pool, or a bathtub, or a toilet, or a bucket, a child can drown.”
Despite the furry suit, Jenny Kondrasky means business.
Despite the furry suit, Jenny Kondrasky means business.

San Diego club-goers find themselves surrounded by cigarettes outside concert venues and art spaces. Smoking is a way of socializing, fitting in. Or so advertising would have us believe.

Commune Wednesdays has set out to reverse this image by holding quit groups and using art to expose the tactics of tobacco companies. This campaign was started by Rescue Social Change Group, funded through a grant from the University of California, San Francisco. Research conducted by Rescue SCG concluded that many smokers live and/or socialize in the urban core of San Diego. Jenny Kondrasky of Rescue SCG came up with the concept of Commune Wednesdays in 2008 to address this populace.

The last Wednesday of every month, musicians and artists contribute by providing entertainment and illustrating one of the “Big Tobacco Facts” listed on Commune’s website (jointhecommune.com).

Commune finds that art and music not only draw crowds, but it is an effective way to create awareness about Big Tobacco. “People are more responsive to something that is aesthetic...rather than just handing out literature and pamphlets and all that,” says Mike Turi of San Diego psych-pop band Wild Wild Wets, who helped develop Commune in 2008 and performed at this year’s Halloween Commune.

“We tried to figure out a way to help people quit but in an environment they might actually go to,” says Kondrasky. Commune’s quit groups are held at local bars to break the association of drinking and smoking. After the first few pilot groups, surveys taken by Commune indicated that their quit groups have a 25 percent success rate for those who want to “club” and quit smoking.

Celeste Byers, an artist who will participate in the next Commune Wednesday, says, “At the last Commune event, people were smoking cigarettes. It’s, like, ‘Hey, guys, you’re not supposed to be doing that here.’ At least it gets people to think about [quitting].”

Commune Wednesday at the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park on November 28 will also include indie-rock band New Mexico and DJ Clinebell Express.

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Comments
2

Hadn't heard much about this before, not since Mike Turi first talked it up a few years ago - excellent report, Lara! I saw your earlier concert reviews - hope to see more of your stuff here in Blurt!

Nov. 14, 2012

Thank you! :) I'd love to contribute more to Blurt in the future!

Nov. 14, 2012

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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