Approved by the: Student Senate - April 4, 2013
Administration - no action required
Board of Regents - no action required

Statement on a Smoke-Free Twin Cities Campus

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities Student Delegation will provide input and feedback to the Student Health Advisory Committee during the development and implementation of a smoke-free campus policy because the Twin Cities Student Delegation supports Boynton Health Services in its efforts toward a 100% smoke-free campus at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

COMMENTS:

As outlined by the report from Boynton, a smoke-free campus provides several benefits to our campus.

Firstly, from a public health perspective, a smoke-free campus allows the nonsmoking majority of the campus to breathe free without worry of second-hand smoke.  In addition, according to nationwide research cited in the Boynton report, many smokers at smoke-free campuses report that a smoking ban was their sole factor that finally helped them quit smoking.

Secondly, from a financial perspective, the University has the potential to save a considerable amount of money in custodial costs, as cleaning up the detritus from smoking on campus is expensive.  Moreover, Boynton has been in negotiation with the companies that provide health insurance to the University community and these corporations are willing to provide lower rates to the University and, in turn, to students by committing to a smoke-free campus.

Finally, many of our Big 10 peers have enacted tobacco-free campuses, including the University of Michigan, University of Illinois, and the University of Iowa.  Even more of peers are discussing a tobacco-free initiative this academic year.  Almost every four-year or technical college in Minnesota has already enacted a tobacco-free policy (UMN-Twin Cities and UMN-Morris are the only holdouts).  As Minnesota higher education systems and the state of Minnesota both see the state as a progressive force in the Midwest and as a healthcare and health sciences leader, the University should enact this type of policy in order to align it with this wide-sweeping policy change in order to uphold its status as an institution on the forefront of intellectual thought and public policy.


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