Making strides on college campuses

Making strides on college campuses

ANSR has been working with the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Macalester College for several years on their tobacco-free campus policies. With support from ANSR, the U went tobacco-free in 2014 and Macalester followed shortly thereafter in 2015. Since the policies’ enactment, ANSR staff has continued to work with the schools to make sure students, faculty, staff and visitors are aware that tobacco use is not allowed anywhere on campus and to ensure tobacco users looking to quit are connected to on-campus cessation help. ANSR has helped each school develop unique campaigns tailored to their needs. At the U, ANSR helped create and launch the Share the Air Ambassador program, which is now in its second semester of existence. This program, supported by the MDH Tobacco-Free Communities grant at ANSR, recruits students, faculty and staff to be ambassadors for the tobacco-free campus policy. The ambassadors are trained to visit tobacco-use “hot spots” around campus and politely approach policy violators to remind them about the policy. The ambassadors also distribute free “Share the Air” chewing gum, with information about the cessation services available at Boynton Health Services printed on the pack. The program has been highly successful. The majority of policy violators have been cordial, immediately stop using tobacco and take the information about cessation resources. This semester, the ambassadors have another tool: free “Share the Air” water bottles they can give to anyone they encounter who is not using tobacco. This is another way to positively promote the policy and thank people for remembering to “Share the Air” At Macalester, ANSR worked with Health and Wellness Center staff to...
Macalester latest local college to go tobacco-free

Macalester latest local college to go tobacco-free

Macalester College in Saint Paul implemented a comprehensive 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy on Jan. 1. The policy comes after years of considering how best to address tobacco use on campus, a process that involved faculty, staff, students and community partners. Macalester’s policy prohibits the use of tobacco in any form, including electronic cigarettes, anywhere on campus. It also provides for accessible cessation resources for the campus community. Macalester joins more than 50 other campuses in Minnesota in adopting a tobacco-free policy, including many nearby post-secondary institutions. St. Kate’s, St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities have all implemented tobacco-free policies for their campuses. While adult tobacco use in Minnesota continues to tick downward, tobacco is still a problem on many college campuses. The use rate among 18-24 year-olds has been the highest for any age group in the state. This is largely because the tobacco industry targets young adults with advertising, promotions and new products, creating a cohort of new, life-long tobacco users. New data from the 2014 Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey showed a decrease from 21.8 percent to 15.3 percent in 2014, the lowest for this age group since the survey began. The goal of Macalester’s tobacco-free campus is to improve the health outcomes for all students, faculty, and staff, including those who live and work near smokers. Tobacco-free campus policies are proven to support those tobacco users who would like to quit, prevent initiation among non-tobacco users, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and decrease costly and harmful tobacco litter. Nationwide, there are at least 1,477 smoke free...
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