University of Minnesota
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SHARE THE AIR

Smoke- and tobacco-free campus

 

U’S SMOKE- AND TOBACCO-FREE CAMPUS IS HEALTHIER, CLEANER, AND MORE INCLUSIVE

The University is committed to protecting the health and well-being of all campus community members. We all ‘share the air,’ and a smoke- and tobacco-free environment will provide many benefits to our community." —President Eric W. Kaler

At the University of Minnesota, we’re committed to promoting and protecting the health and well-being of all campus community members. That’s why we’re proud to be smoke- and tobacco-free. Our goal? To create a healthier, cleaner, and more inclusive environment for everyone.

University facilities, buildings, and grounds on the Duluth, Crookston, Rochester, and Twin Cities campuses have been smoke and tobacco free since July 1, 2014. We believe this comprehensive policy enhances the health of students, faculty, staff, and visitors by encouraging healthy lifestyle choices and limiting involuntary exposure to harmful secondhand smoke.

Read the complete policy in the Uwide Policy Library.

Communications Toolkit

Creating a supportive, positive, and healthy smoke- and tobacco-free environment for the entire campus is a shared responsibility. We encourage students, staff, faculty, and visitors to promote compliance with the policy. Please read about promoting compliance prior to participating in enforcement! Enforcement Cards can also be requested here.

When posting Share the Air material in your area, please follow the University's Distributing Publications Policy. Publications—including posters, flyers, and signs—must be posted in a way that makes them easy to remove and does not cause damage to or deface the surfaces to which they are attached.

Downloads

Poster (8.5" x 11")
Social Media Profile
Enforcement Cards

If you would like a Share the Air communication piece not in this toolkit, you can request it here.

Share the Air

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the U go smoke and tobacco free?

The University is committed to the health and well-being of everyone on campus. The smoke- and tobacco-free policy was adopted based on the wealth of research documenting the health risks associated with tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, the assessments of regional and national trends, and input from the campus community. Specific benefits to our community include:

  • It allows the nonsmoking majority of the campus to breathe fresh air without exposure to the Class A carcinogens of secondhand smoke.
  • It provides a supportive environment for the many smokers who are trying to quit smoking.
  • It dramatically reduces the number one groundskeeping and cleanup expense for the University.
  • It reduces absenteeism and health care costs.

How is this policy enforced?

Creating a supportive, positive, and healthy smoke- and tobacco-free environment for the entire campus is a shared responsibility. We encourage students, staff, faculty, and visitors to promote compliance with the policy. Read more about promoting compliance.

Why did the U go both smoke- and tobacco-free?

Because of the negative health and environmental impacts of all tobacco products, the U adopted a tobacco-free, rather than just a smoke-free policy. In 2009, the American College Health Association adopted a no tobacco use policy and encourages and supports colleges and universities to achieve a 100% indoor and outdoor campus-wide tobacco-free environment.

Before implementation of the University's smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy, 81% of students and 57% of staff and faculty reported being exposed to secondhand smoke on campus. In addition, 15% of students and 22% of staff and faculty reported having a health condition triggered by exposure to secondhand smoke (Tobacco Free Campus Policy Opinion Survey, 2012).

The U.S. Surgeon General says there is no risk-free level of secondhand tobacco smoke exposure. Every year, 443,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses, making it the leading cause of preventable mortality in the United States.

Why are electronic cigarettes prohibited?

E-cigarettes are designed to deliver high amounts of nicotine to the user—more than two times the amount approved by the FDA for smoking cessation aids. Little is known about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes, but many ingredients are known to cause lung and cardiac inflammation, cancer, and cell damage.

Do tobacco-free policies change behavior?

Smoke-free campus policies are proven to decrease current smoking prevalence in students, decrease the amount of cigarettes used by those who continue to smoke, decrease students’ acceptance of peer smoking, change social norms around tobacco use, and increase favorable attitudes towards regulation of tobacco. To learn more about the effects of campus tobacco-free policies, check out this study.

Do other schools have similar campus policies?

In 2009, the American College Health Association adopted a no tobacco use policy and encourages and supports colleges and universities to achieve a 100% indoor and outdoor campus-wide tobacco-free environment. More than 2,000 campuses across the United States have adopted such policies—see the complete list of schools.

What areas of campus will the smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy cover?

The smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy covers all property, buildings, and facilities under the primary control of the University of Minnesota through ownership, lease, or other means. Because the boundaries of the Twin Cities campus are harder to discern within the urban setting, please see the following maps for guidance.

Breathing Easier, Together

Campus Community Strongly Supports Policy

An assessment conducted in April 2016 indicated strong support for the tobacco-free campus policy:

  • 91% of staff and faculty support a smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy, with 77% strongly supporting and 4% strongly opposed to a policy.
  • 88% of students support a smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy, with 70% strongly supporting and 5% strongly opposed to a policy.

Share the Air

Breathing Easier, Together

Nicotine is a highly addictive drug found in all forms of tobacco from cigarettes and cigars to chewing tobacco, snuff or hookah. We understand—quitting is a hard. So we’re to help you! The University offers a variety of tobacco cessation resources to help students and employees quit.

Quitting Tips

The more quit attempts you make, the higher your chances of staying quit. According to the 2013 College Student Health Survey (Boynton Health), current U smokers are trying to quit: more than 50% of staff and 60% of students who smoke have tried to quit one or more times in the past year.

The most important thing you can do is plan, plan, plan for your quit day. And change the way you think about quitting. Do not give yourself permission to smoke—be positive. Quitting is hard, so take it one day at a time.

You can do it! Here are some other tips:

  1. Tell your friends and family that you are quitting and turn to them for support and encouragement.
  2. Identify your triggers for smoking and start writing your response plan in a stop-smoking notebook.
  3. Make a list of the reasons why you want to quit and write them in your notebook. Read these when things get tough.
  4. Clean before the quit day and get rid of smoking reminders like ashtrays, lighters, and cigarettes.
  5. Stock up on coffee stirrers, straws, toothpicks, and low- or non-fat snacks like gum, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, mints, fruit, vegetables, pretzels, licorice, sugar-free hard candy, rice cakes, popcorn, water, and flavored herbal tea. These can help curb the urge to smoke.
  6. Stay away from alcohol; it's the biggest reason for failure. Instead, enjoy tobacco- and alcohol-free activities with your friends. Spend as much time as possible in places where smoking is prohibited.
  7. Watch your snack and caffeine intake to prevent weight gain and caffeine overdose and drink a lot of water.
  8. Exercise, go for a walk, take the stairs, and try deep breathing to manage your stress.
  9. Change your routine to break the habit part of smoking.

Resources for Students

These programs are administered by Boynton Health:

ResourceDescriptionLocation
Nicotine Dependence Counseling Meet with a counselor to discuss methods for quitting that meet your needs. https://boynton.umn.edu/clinics/tobacco-cessation-counseling
Nicotine Replacement Therapy Options Includes nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges. Note: Students must first see the Nicotine Dependence Couselor prior to accessing these items at no cost. Available over the counter at the Boynton Pharmacy; no out-of pocket cost to students
Prescription Medication Options Includes Chantix, Wellbutrin. Note: Students must see a Boynton Health provider for a prescription and dose monitoring. Boynton Health Pharmacy (612-624-7655)
Quit Plan This cessation program is open to all Minnesota residents 18 years and over who use any type of tobacco product.
Program options include: telephone counseling and access to free or reduced cost over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy (i.e., the patch, gum).
1-800-354-PLAN(7526) Online resources: https://www.quitplan.com/

 


Resources for Employees

These programs are administered by the Office of Human Resources Wellness Program in consultation with the Benefits Advisory Committee:

ResourceDescriptionLocation
Nicotine Dependence Counseling Offered at Boynton Health at no cost to the employee as part of the Face-to-Face Health Coaching program. https://boynton.umn.edu/clinics/health-coaching
Nicotine Replacement Therapy OptionsIncludes nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges.https://humanresources.umn.edu/employee-benefits/pharmacy
Prescription Medication Options Includes Chantix, Welbutrin. Boynton Health Service or your healthcare provider
Telephone Health Coaching For UPlan membersEmployees are able to work with a telephone health coach on a variety of health topics including tobacco cessation.Call RedBrick Health at 844-724-8636
RedBrick Health Online Journeys  Need help in your journey to becoming a non-smoker? Try one of the RedBrick Health online Journeys. Journeys include "Make Your Date to Quit," "Not Ready to Quit," "Ready, Set, Stop Smoking!" "Smokeless Tobacco Takedown," "Stay on Track, Stay Quit." umn.redbrickhealth.com
Quit PlanThis cessation program is open to all Minnesota residents 18 years and over who use any type of tobacco product.
Program options include: telephone counseling and access to free or reduced cost over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy (i.e., the patch, gum).
1-800-354-PLAN(7526) Online resources: https://www.quitplan.com/

 

Other Quitting Resources

Breathing Easier, Together

History of the U’s Smoke- and Tobacco-free Policy

The development of the University’s smoke- and tobacco-free policy began in 2008. Over the course of seven years, a diverse group of people from across the U were involved in researching, surveying, creating, and implementing the campus-wide policy.

Timeline of Events

September 2007
Duluth campus goes smoke free (see BreatheFree UMD for background).

February 2008
The Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) requests that President Bruininks consider implementing a tobacco-free campus policy, which would make the entire University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, including outdoor spaces, tobacco free.

April 21, 2008
Crookston campus goes smoke- and tobacco free.

2009–2011
President Bruininks charges a committee to conduct a thorough investigation of the feasibility and support of a tobacco-free campus policy, including surveys of students, staff and faculty, open forums, and interviews with key University personnel. The report recommends a campus tobacco-free policy in January 2011.

December 2012
The SHAC co-chairs request President Kaler to formally consider a tobacco-free campus policy.

September 2012–June 2013
Twenty-four University student, staff, and faculty groups express support for a tobacco-free or smoke-free campus policy. The Twin Cities campus delegates to the University Senate overwhelmingly support a resolution to support in principle a commitment to a smoke-free campus.

May 17, 2013
President Kaler charges Boynton Health with developing an implementation plan and final administrative policy recommendation. A work group begins meeting in June.

July 15, 2013
The work group submits a draft policy and implementation plan to President Kaler.

October 28, 2013
A smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy implementation team is established.

December 5, 2013
The President’s Policy Committee votes in favor of the smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy.

January 28, 2014
The 30-day comment period for the smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy closes.

February–March 2014
All policy comments are reviewed and Share the Air policy communications begin.

July 1, 2014
The University of Minnesota Rochester and Twin Cities become smoke- and tobacco-free campuses. The Duluth and Crookston campuses now follow the new policy. The Morris campus is actively engaging students, faculty, and staff in looking at options.

April 2015 & April 2016
The Share the Air Implementation Team administers a survey to students, staff, and faculty to assess the smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy.

Breathing Easier, Together

Promoting Compliance

Creating a supportive, positive, and healthy smoke- and tobacco-free environment for the entire campus is a shared responsibility. We encourage students, staff, faculty, and visitors to promote compliance with the policy. You can report an area on campus where the smoke- and tobacco-free policy is frequently violated here.

Your Role

All campus leaders are important partners in successfully and effectively implementing this policy. Your role is to:

  1. Comply with the policy
  2. Communicate the policy courteously and non-confrontationally to faculty, staff, students, and visitors in your college/department.
  3. Connect faculty, staff, and students with appropriate resources, including cessation resources.
  4. Address matters of repeated violations of this policy just as you would violations of other policies. Managers/supervisors should hold employees accountable, and address matters of repeated violations; HR staff is available to consult on specific situations, as needed. It is important that we are assessing the impact of the repeated violation in relation to the University’s values and expectations.

Approaching Someone Who is Using Tobacco

If you see someone using tobacco on campus, you are encouraged to remind people of the initiative if you feel comfortable doing so. If you do approach someone, please do so in a friendly, respectful manner – the person may not be aware of the policy. If someone becomes agitated or hostile upon being approached, please do not escalate the situation – simply walk away. If the situation escalates to the point where you feel threatened or endangered, please call 911.

These scenarios and scripts are designed to help members of the University community remind people of the smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy.

  • Situation: You see a person using tobacco products on campus.
    Response: Hello, my name is _______, and I am an (employee, student) here at the University of Minnesota. I want to let you know that we are a smoke- and tobacco-free campus. All students, staff, faculty, and visitors are prohibited from smoking and using tobacco products and electronic cigarettes on all University property. Thank you for your cooperation.
  • Situation: "Where am I allowed to smoke?"
    Response: The University of Minnesota is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus. All students, staff, faculty, and visitors are prohibited from smoking and using tobacco products and electronic cigarettes on all University property. You will need to leave the campus to smoke or use tobacco products. Thank you for respecting our policy.
  • Situation: You are making arrangements with a vendor or contractor.
    Response: I would like to let you know that the University of Minnesota is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus. We respectfully ask that representatives from your organization refrain from smoking and using tobacco products and electronic cigarettes on all University property.
  • Situation: You want to proactively communicate the smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy to prospective employees and prospective students and their families prior to their visit to the University of Minnesota campus.
    Response: I would like to let you know that the University of Minnesota is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus. All students, staff, faculty, and visitors are prohibited from smoking and using tobacco products and electronic cigarettes on all University property. Thank you for respecting our policy.

To assist with enforcement:

Breathing Easier, Together

Policy Implementation Team

Representatives from many University departments participated in the process of developing and implementing the smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy that went into effect on July 1, 2014.

The policy implementation team included representatives from:

  • Athletics
  • Boynton Health
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Facilities Management
  • Government Relations
  • Housing and Residential Life
  • Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity
  • Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Office of Human Resources
  • Office of Risk Management
  • Office of the General Counsel Parking and Transportation Services
  • Purchasing Services
  • Real Estate Office
  • School of Public Health
  • University of Minnesota Police Department
  • University Relations University Services

A ‘Share the Air’ policy maintenance committee continues to meet regularly to ensure ongoing awareness of and communication about the policy. Departments currently participating in the policy maintenance team include:

  • Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity
  • Boynton Health
  • Facilities Management
  • Office for Student Affairs
  • Office of Human Resources
  • Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
  • University Relations

Share the Air

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  • Last modified on July 1, 2014