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 design and implement the “Did You Know?” campaign to raise awareness about the tobacco-free campus policy and illustrate how the policy aligns with Macalester values. The campaign, consisting of sandwich boards, posters, table tents, sidewalk decals and webpages, illustrates the negative impact tobacco has on the environment and social justice issues, such as child labor.
The policy is uniquely suited to Macalester and its focus on environmental sustainability and social justice. The campaign has been well-received and will continue to help Macalester support and promote its policy for years to come.