A smoke or tobacco free campus policy, (including no sale, industry sponsorship of activities, or use of tobacco products anywhere on campus) is beneficial for many reasons.
A tobacco free campus policy:
- promotes respect for others and the campus environment;
- sends a strong message that health and addiction-free living is important and taken seriously by the school;
- creates an environment that helps students, staff and faculty to stop using tobacco or never start. That is especially critical as a large employer since healthcare and productivity losses for each smoking employee is at least $5000 more each year compared to nonsmoking staff. Evidence suggests that tobacco free campus policies reduce smoking prevalence among those on campus.
- avoids undermining the health of our young people by unintentionally supporting the development of what is often a lifelong addiction;
- reduces the exposure to secondhand smoke and potential liability for smoking-related health problems. Tobacco smoke is classified by the EPA as a Class A carcinogen like asbestos. Research suggests that even short term exposure, especially, among those with compromised cardiac or lung function (i.e., asthma) is hazardous. The U.S. Surgeon General has found that there is no safe level of exposure.
- reduces staff time spent on maintenance and picking up butts and other tobacco waste as well as decreasing the costs associated with higher maintenance and cleaning needs.
- enhances the campus’ image as a clean and healthy environment for visitors like parents and prospective students as well as the larger community.
For additional rationale to support the policy click here.