Smoke-free campuses are a growing trend; UK volunteers taking action to get compliance with ban enacted nearly two years ago

This summer, Tobacco-free Take Action! volunteers at the University of Kentucky have been circling campus, asking students to put out their cigarettes while on school property. UK is one of about 530 U.S. colleges that have enacted smoke-free policies. (Photo from University of Michigan)
Most of the bans are considered comprehensive, with smoking prohibited on all grounds, including athletic facilities, restaurants and parking lots, reports CNN‘s Stephanie Steinberg. That is the case at UK, which enacted its ban in November 2009. Then, just 300 college campuses had similar bans in effect. Within the past year, 120 campuses were added to the smoke-free list nationwide. Today, in addition to UK, Bellarmine University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Morehead State University, Pikeville College, Spalding University, St. Catharine College, Union College and University of Louisville are smoke-free, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 46 million Americans age 18 and older smoke cigarettes. A 2010 American College Health Association report found 4.4. percent of the more than 30,000 students surveyed had smoked every day in the past 30 days. In Kentucky, about 26 percent of adult Kentuckians smoke.
Since UK enacted its ban in 2009, a growing number of people have gotten help to quit smoking at the university. “After the policy’s first year, enrollment rose to 146 people,” up from 33 the year before, Steinberg reports. “The number of nicotine replacement coupons redeemed by students and faculty also increased from 124 to 470 in the same period.”
One of the keys to changing mindsets is to avoid being too heavy-handed, Steinberg reports. “We certainly don’t have smoking police,” said Ellen Hahn, director of UK’s Tobacco Policy Research Program. Instead student volunteers gently remind others of the policy while offering smoking cessation information.
Ty Patterson, former vice president of student affairs at Ozarks Technical Community College in Missouri, predicts that in 10 years almost all college campuses in the country will be smoke-free. “We’ve gone from pushing smoking out of the building . . . to now trying to push smoking totally off campus,” said Laura Talbott Forbes, chairwoman of the 2010 American College Health Association‘s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Coalition. (Read more)
Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *