On Sept. 1, 2012, Oregon State University joined hundreds of other U.S. colleges and universities that are already smoke or tobacco free. Having a smoke-free campus is consistent with OSU’s mission and initiatives to promote healthy living and a healthy planet.
Second-hand smoke is an identified health hazard increasing the risk for cancer, stroke and heart disease. Exposure to smoke also amplifies health concerns for children, the elderly and those with chronic respiratory conditions. (American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Public health initiatives that include a mix of environmental and policy changes, educational programs, and resources that provide support and skill-building are the most effective method for changing health behavior; such as smoking.
Other worksites that have adopted smoke- or tobacco-free policies have shown a decrease in the number of individuals who smoke. Individuals are more likely to quit smoking or think about quitting smoking when the availability of places to smoke is reduced. Ex-smokers have fewer days of illness, fewer health complaints and less bronchitis and pneumonia than current smokers.
Other community benefits of a smoke-free campus include a reduction in fire hazards, less litter from cigarette butts, and lower health care costs.
For more information, background, FAQs and resources, go to oregonstate.edu/smokefree.