FAU to Become a Tobacco-Free University
Beginning January 1, 2015, Florida Atlantic University will implement a tobacco-free policy, which will also prohibit the use of e-cigarettes. In an effort to create a healthier environment for all students, faculty, employees, vendors and visitors at Florida Atlantic University, the use of all tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, smokeless pouches and any other form of loose-leaf, smokeless tobacco) will be prohibited on all FAU campuses. This tobacco free policy will be in effect for all indoor spaces, outdoor locations and within cars on campus.
FAU will become the 24th university in Florida to implement a smoking or tobacco-free policy and the 926th tobacco-free campus location across the nation. There are at least 1,343 colleges and universities nationwide with similar smoking policies. In 2013, FAU launched a Healthy Campus 2020 Initiative to address a variety of health related issues that influence the overall health and wellness of university community members. This initiative is being led by guidelines established by the American College Health Association and tied to national Healthy People 2020 objectives from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Smoking has been identified as the number one preventable disease and cause of death in the U.S. and is responsible for over $193 billion in yearly medical expenses and lost productivity. The 2014 Surgeon General’s Report on the health consequences of smoking reports that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke and quitting tobacco use is beneficial at any age. With the documented health risks associated with tobacco use, the FAU Healthy Campus 2020 Initiative identified this health issue as a key objective to tackle.
The FAU community has been directly addressing the health concerns of smoking since 2008.
When students attend college, it is a critical time in the development of their lifestyle habits. This creates an opportunity to promote sustainable healthy behaviors in students. Since one-fifth of adult smokers begin using tobacco products after age 18, FAU has an opportunity to help promote a healthier alternative. Smoking bans have decreased smoking prevalence and the amount smoked by those who continue to smoke.
FAU is committed to helping students, faculty and employees manage or overcome their tobacco use. A major campaign will be launched over the next year to provide cessation classes and assistance for those seeking help with changing their behavior. This tobacco-free policy does not require individuals to quit smoking or using tobacco products; it only requires that this behavior does not occur on FAU property.
For more information related to the policy, please visit the Office of Health and Wellness website. The focus will remain on education and assistance as we move forward towards the implementation date. We ask all members of the FAU family to work together to help create a healthier place for us to live, learn and work.