Tobacco-free campus

A new student-led initiative has made its way through the Academic Senate that will make the U a tobacco-free campus, improving the health and safety of all students, staff, faculty, patients and visitors. The U now joins more than 1,800 colleges and universities nationwide that have gone 100 percent smoke and tobacco free.

This rule was passed at the end of the 2017 academic year and will take effect July 1, 2018. The University community will have a year to learn more about the rule and the cessation services offered through the university’s Student Health Services, Employee Assistance Program and Health Science’s wellness programs.

“We are excited the U will become a tobacco-free campus,” said Matt Miller, 2017 ASUU vice president. “This rule will make the U a healthier place to work and gain an education.”

Becoming a tobacco-free campus has taken time and consideration. The proposition was first brought to the U’s attention in 2010 by ASUU and underwent several years of discussion. In 2016, the charge was taken up again by a dedicated group of students with the help of a committee that included faculty, staff, health care providers and students.

“Our goal has always been to support the health and well-being of all who visit the University,” said John Sweetenham, MD, Senior Director of Clinical Affairs and Executive Medical Director of Huntsman Cancer Institute. “Tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable illness and death, and removing it from our campus takes us much closer to that goal.”

“We are committed to creating a healthy campus for all members of our community,” said Robin Marcus, chief wellness officer. “Our No. 1 priority is to be inclusive to our diverse community during this transition. Over the coming year, we encourage all to support each other in a positive, non-confrontational manner as we make this transition. No member of the U community should take adverse action against a person, or treat them disrespectfully, for use of tobacco products on or off campus.”

This rule takes effect July 1, 2018.

The rule

The purpose is part of a commitment to create a healthy campus for all members of the university community and is designed to be positive and supportive of overall health and well-being. This applies to owned and leased campus premises and U vehicles and is applicable 24/7.

Prohibited tobacco products are defined as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookah), bidis, kreteks, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco, snus, snuff, electronic cigarettes and any other nicotine-delivery products. However, FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products are allowed (e.g. nicotine gum, inhalers, lozenges and patches).

Ad hoc committee

An ad hoc committee of the Academic Senate has been formed to review and make any necessary changes to the rule. The committee will meet regularly during the pilot year to review the rule, ensure that it is fair and balanced and to recommend any changes before the effective date of July 1, 2018. The committee is made up of members representing faculty, staff and students from across campus, including from the health sciences. Two self-identifying smokers have volunteered to be on the committee to assure all perspectives are considered.

Click here to read the full rule.