The CDC says the number of teens smoking electronic cigarettes has tripled in one year. Use of e-cigarettes is not tracked in Arizona, but advocates say there is a need for tighter regulations, especially when it comes to younger people.
Effective Aug. 2, 2013, Arizona State University will join more than 800 universities nationwide in becoming 100 percent tobacco-free.
The initiative, spearheaded by students and supported by the University Staff Council and the faculty Academic Senate, is part of a larger ASU effort to promote health and wellness in the ASU community.
ASU already prohibits smoking inside its buildings. The new policy will prohibit all manner of smoking as well as the use of smokeless tobacco products and will apply to all properties owned, leased or controlled by the university, whether indoor or outdoor.
“Tobacco use is a documented public health hazard and the university is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable and educationally productive learning environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors,” said Kevin Salcido, associate vice president of Human Resources and a member of the tobacco-free working group.
In addition to contributing to better health, increased productivity and decreased use of sick time, prohibiting tobacco use on ASU campuses will result in decreased maintenance expense for facilities and grounds in managing related litter.
The university offers education, information and support for those wishing to quit tobacco, and will frequently communicate details about available programs and opportunities between now and when the policy is implemented next year.
ASU will pursue a “community enforcement” approach when it comes to the new policy, whereby university community members will help to educate others. This strategy has proven to be effective at other universities that have gone tobacco-free. Students, staff and faculty members who repeatedly violate the policy, however, could face sanctions through pre-established administrative practices in such departments as the Office of Human Resources or Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Additional information about the policy change; a listing of available educational programs and resources to help successfully quit tobacco; tobacco-free zone maps; and a supervisor’s toolkit are available, along with other items, at http://www.asu.edu/tobaccofree.