smoking free on campus
Unsolicited Letter of Recommendation
Southern Illinois University – Rehn 121
September 21, 2015
Southern Illinois University – SSB 325
I am writing to express my support for the need to put in place a smoke-free campus initiative. The need to establish such a program is informed by the findings of the Smoke-Free Campus Act, which revealed that tobacco smoke is an injurious and dangerous carcinogen and poses a grievous risk to public health.
I suggested the idea of a smoke-free campus to the Division of Student Affairs after a number of students sought assistance in finding a lasting solution to the menace of smokers congregating at the entrances to the various halls of residence. Most students protested against walking through tobacco smoke at the halls entrances and were concerned about the smoke getting into rooms located close to the entrances.
Upon careful reflection over the last six months, I took recommendations to the various head of departments and the Halls Manager, and they agreed to a smoke-free campus program. It was also agreed that such an initiative should be implemented over a period of two years. The primary impetus for implementing such a policy is to ensure that the institution takes positive steps in creating a healthy environment for all students.
At this point, we are ready to start taking recommendations from the university community and other concerned parties on how the program will be implemented. I am also seeking to address the available smoking-cessation drugs that the University physician may prescribe to assist both students and university staff who are willing to quit smoking. Such drugs are regarded as the most effective.
To: Students, faculty, staff
Date: September 21, 2015
Re: Ban on Tobacco Smoking across all University Properties
In view of the findings by the Smoke-Free Campus Act, a resolution has been proposed to ban the smoking of tobacco across all university premises. Highlights from the Act include:
Tobacco smoke is an injurious and dangerous carcinogen and, therefore, a hazard to public health.
Secondhand tobacco smoke is responsible for the death of at least 65,000 people each year due to complications resulting from lung cancer and heart disease.
Secondhand tobacco smoke is ranked as the third leading cause of avoidable death in America.
Workers in Illinois are at a greater risk of premature death due to exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
Approximately 2,900 Illinois residents die each year from being exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke.
In view of the fact that a number of studies have indicated that smoking not only poses significant risk to health, but has also been identified as a risk factor for fires in halls of residence, campus buildings, and other campus structures, students and faculty are urged to support the implementation of the Southern Illinois University Smoke-Free Policy to ban smoking across all university premises.
The proposed initiative expresses support for the ban of tobacco smoking in all facilities, both outdoors and indoors, as well as in vehicles leased, owned, and controlled by the Southern Illinois University and its affiliated entities. Currently, only the distance requirement is in place.
The reasons for adopting a more stringent tobacco use policy include:
To provide a healthy educational and workplace environment for faculty, students, and guests.
To ensure that the lifestyle at the University is in line with the institution’s values
To eliminate the risk of secondhand smoke on campus.