- University Life
March 27, 2013
TO: Campus Community
FROM: Beth Muha, AVP of Human Resources, and Project Team Co-Chair
Rob Hradsky, AVP and Dean of Students, and Project Team Co-Chair
SUBJECT: Tobacco- and Smoke-Free Campus: Progress to Date and Next Steps
The tobacco- and smoke-free university project team consisting of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and neighbors continues its work toward launching a tobacco- and smoke-free AU campus in August 2013. Team members are developing an implementation plan focused on policy, operational guidance and enforcement, health and wellness, facilities and grounds, and communications.
This semester, the team conducted an assessment to estimate the percentage of students, faculty, staff, and contractors who smoke, and where they are most likely to smoke while on campus. Based on these findings, we estimate that the percentage of community members who utilize tobacco products is lower than the national average as reported in a 2012 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment.
For members of the campus community who utilize tobacco products, we understand and recognize that this transition may be difficult. Stopping an addictive habit immediately just can't be done. It is unrealistic to think you can quit in a few short hours, days, or months. It takes a lot of time, energy and the right amount of support. Our new Tobacco-Free AU website lists smoking cessation resources. AU will be offering smoking cessation programs and is working with the university’s health plan providers to provide additional resources.
Earlier this month, we shared several questions that the committee was considering in the adoption of a policy. We thank the members of our university community who provided feedback on our questions, and provided us with additional comments and suggestions.
After listening to feedback, and researching how other universities have implemented their policies, we’d like to provide an update on the policy’s proposed framework.
To learn more about the proposed policy, effective date, enforcement and implementation, and smoking cessation programs, we invite you to a Town Hall discussion tonight, March 27, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in Letts Formal Lounge.
In the next couple of weeks, members of the committee will present the committee’s progress to various campus constituencies including University Council, Faculty Senate, Staff Council, Student Government, Residence Hall Association, Human Resources representatives and other campus groups. The presentation will also be available for review on the Tobacco-Free AU website after the Town Hall discussion.
As we prepare to deliver policy implementation recommendations in late April to President Kerwin for review, we continue to welcome your feedback on these elements, and encourage you to talk to the project team members. Comments may also be provided by email.
We look forward to working together in making AU a campus dedicated to the health and well-being of our community.