University of Minnesota
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SHARE THE AIR

Smoke- and tobacco-free campus

U Campuses NoW Smoke and Tobacco Free

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.

As of July 1, 2014, University facilities, buildings, and grounds on the Duluth, Crookston, Rochester, and Twin Cities campuses are smoke and tobacco free. The Morris campus is actively engaging students, faculty, and staff in looking at options.

We believe this comprehensive policy enhances the health of students, faculty, staff, and visitors by encouraging healthy lifestyle choices and limiting the 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 Enforcement prior to participating 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 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 desperately trying to quit smoking.
  • It dramatically reduces the number one groundskeeping and cleanup expense for the University.
  • It reduces absenteeism, health care costs, and insurance premiums.

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 enforcement

Why did the U go both smoke and tobacco free?

Because of the negative health and environmental impacts of all tobacco products, the U has 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.

Is tobacco use a problem on campus?

According to the 2012 Tobacco-Free Campus Policy Opinion Survey, 81% of students and 57% of staff and faculty report being exposed to secondhand smoke on campus. And 14.9% of students and 22.4% of staff and faculty report having a health condition triggered by exposure to secondhand smoke.

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 1,000 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 Going Tobacco Free

The decision to become smoke and tobacco free is based on broad input from across the Twin Cities campus. In December 2012, a random sample of students, staff, and faculty participated in a questionnaire.

The survey results indicated strong support for a smoke- and tobacco-free policy:

  • 68% of staff and faculty support a tobacco-free campus policy, with 43% strongly supporting and 14% strongly opposed to a policy.
  • 63% of students support a tobacco-free campus policy, with 41% strongly supporting and 18% strongly opposed to a policy.

In addition, the following 24 University student, staff, and faculty groups expressed support for such a policy during the research and development process:

  • Academic Health Center Faculty Consultative Committee
  • Academic Health Center Student Consultative Committee
  • Benefits Advisory Committee
  • Camp Kesem Minnesota
  • College of Biological Sciences Student Board
  • Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA)
  • Health Advocates
  • Health Ambassadors
  • Minnesota Student Association (MSA)
  • Rothenberger Institute
  • School of Public Health Student Senate
  • Student Affairs Student Advisory Board
  • Student Athlete Advisory Committee
  • Student Dance Coalition
  • Student Health Advisory Committee
  • Student Network for Abuse Prevention (SNAP)
  • Student Senate
  • Undergraduate Public Health Association
  • University of Minnesota Colleges Against Cancer
    and Relay For Life
  • University of Minnesota Pre-Med AmericanMedical Student Association (AMSA)
  • University of Minnesota Nursing College Board
  • University Senate
  • University Senate Committee on Social Concerns
  • University Senate Faculty Consultative Committee

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 Service), 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 Service:

ResourceDescriptionLocation
Quit and Win A month-long, incentive based cessation contest to help tobacco users quit. The contest will be offered periodically and students will be notified of the availability via email and other marketing venues.
Nicotine Dependence Counseling Meet with a counselor to discuss methods for quitting that meets your needs. http://www.bhs.umn.edu/east-bank-clinic/nicotine-counseling.htm
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 Boynton Pharmacy; no out-of pocket cost to students
Prescription Medication Options Includes Chantix, Wellbutrin. Note: Sstudents must see a Boynton Health Service provider for a prescription and dose monitoring. Boynton Health Service Pharmacy (612-624-7655)

 


Resources for Employees

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

ResourceDescriptionLocation
Quit and Win A month-long, incentive based cessation contest to help tobacco users quit. The contest will be offered periodically and faculty and staff will be notified of the availability via email and other marketing venues.
Nicotine Dependence Counseling Offered at Boynton Health Service at no cost to the employee as part of the Face-to-Face Health Coaching program. http://www.bhs.umn.edu/east-bank-clinic/nicotine-counseling.htm
Nicotine Replacement Therapy OptionsIncludes nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges.http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/benefits/pharmacy/index.html
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. 
Medica Tobacco Cessation Program for UPlan membersConfidential counseling with a trained cessation counselor and it includes goal setting and self-help materials. Participants can receive over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy at no additional cost. http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/wellness/tobacco/program/index.html
Staywell Health Management Online Healthy Living Smoke Free Program for UPlan members A six-week personalized resource to help with smoking cessation. It includes weekly to-do lists and a daily progress track to help provide support and additional information while the participant is trying to quit. http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/wellness/tobacco/program/index.html
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 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 (see Crookston policy guidelines for background).

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 Service 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 follows the new policy. The Morris campus is actively engaging students, faculty, and staff in looking at options.

Breathing Easier, Together

Enforcement

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. Communicate the policy courteously and non-confrontationally to faculty, staff, students, and visitors in your college/department.
  2. Connect faculty, staff, and students with appropriate resources, including cessation resources.
  3. 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 contact 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 when it becomes effective July 1, 2014.

  • 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 now 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. This new policy went into effect on July 1. Thank you for your cooperation.
  • Situation: "Where am I allowed to smoke?"
    Response: The University of Minnesota became a smoke- and tobacco-free campus on July 1 prohibiting tobacco use of any kind. 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: When you are making arrangements with a vendor or contractor:
    Response: I would like to let you know in advance that the University of Minnesota will be a smoke- and tobacco-free campus as of July 1, 2014. We respectfully ask that representatives from your organization refrain from smoke 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 tp the University of Minnesota campus.
    Response: I would like to let you know in advance that the University of Minnesota will be a smoke- and tobacco-free campus as of July 1, 2014. 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,

Share the Air

Policy Implementation Team

Created in October 2013, the U’s smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy implementation team comprises these core groups, which includes both students and staff from across the University.

Communication/Education Committee

  • Ann Freeman, University Relations
  • Cheryl Hoffman, Boynton Health Service
  • Bridget McCoy, Housing and Residential Life
  • Cathy Naborowski, Purchasing Services
  • Mike Schmit, Minnesota Student Association
  • Chris Werle, Athletics
  • Amelious Whyte, Office for Student Affairs

Environmental Committee

  • Jacqueline Brudlos, Parking and Transportation Services
  • Tim Busse, University Services
  • Matt Levine, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Russell Luepker, School of Public Health
  • Jan Morlock, Government Relations
  • Mark Rossi, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Shane Stennes, Facilities Management

Enforcement and Conflict Management Committee

  • Sharon Dzik, Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity
  • Chuck Miner, University of Minnesota Police Department
  • Meghan Mason, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly
  • Steve Pardoe, Office of Risk Management
  • Dan Piper, Office of the General Counsel
  • Susan Stubblefield, Housing and Residential Life

Cessation and Support Services Committee

  • Karen Chapin, Office of Human Resources
  • Hattie Lindahl, Office of Human Resources
  • Heidi Rieck, Minnesota Student Association
  • Van Vu, Boynton Health Service

Policy Management and Assessment Committee

  • Paul Allwood, Office of Human Resources
  • Jean Forster, School of Public Health
  • Katie Lust, Boynton Health Service
  • Paige Rohman, University Services
  • Sue Weinberg, Real Estate Office
  • Amelious Whyte, Office for Student Affairs

Breathing Easier, Together

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  • Last modified on July 1, 2014