|A message from President Kelley on the Great American Smokeout and UND's tobacco-free campus policy|
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
I would like to invite the entire campus community to join me in celebrating the American Cancer Society’s 32nd Annual Great American Smokeout, which takes place on Thursday, Nov. 19. This will also serve as an excellent opportunity to acknowledge UND’s two year anniversary of the Tobacco-Free Campus Policy . I, along with Student Health Services, the Wellness Center and Work Well, encourage every member of the community to recognize this event by abiding by and respectfully informing others of the policy, sharing information about quit tobacco options and providing support to those who quit for the day and possibly even for life.
Compliance with the tobacco-free campus policy is the responsibility and right of all UND staff, students and faculty members. The success of the policy rests with all of us, and as part of UND’s ongoing commitment to health and wellness, I hope you’ll join me and use this tremendous opportunity for every one of us, user or non-user, to offer others encouragement and support as we continue to strive to promote health and wellness within our community. To help us in this endeavor, you can download business cards to inform others of the policy and available cessation options from the tobacco-free campus website. Print copies are also available at the Student Health Promotion Office in the Memorial Union, at the Wellness Center and in the Office of the President.
UND is a leader in the tobacco-free movement and is frequently used as an example to other colleges and universities seeking to become tobacco-free. The chief purpose of the tobacco-free campus policy is to create a healthy and safe environment for all UND students, faculty and staff. Moreover, its specific mission is to reduce harm from secondhand smoke, provide an environment that encourages persons to be tobacco-free, establish a campus culture of wellness, reduce health insurance and health-care costs, and promote a tobacco free culture. The policy prohibits the use of all tobacco products in university buildings, parking structures, walkways, arenas, in the university or state fleet vehicles, and on university-owned property (to see the UND tobacco-free map click here).
Through the development of comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programs over the past 8 years, UND has made tremendous progress in reducing tobacco use on campus. A survey conducted by Student Health Services showed the percentage of UND students who reported smoking cigarettes in the last 30 days dropped from 33% in 2000 to 12% in 2008. In the same time period the daily usage rate dropped from 10% to 2.2% (both of the 2008 usage numbers are below the national average). These are numbers to be proud of, but much more remains to be accomplished to continue to diminish tobacco-related disease and deaths, as smoking is still the most preventable cause of death today.
Finally, any student, staff or faculty member interested in tobacco cessation help is encouraged to visit our tobacco cessation information web page where you’ll find online cessation educational information, contact numbers for cessation counseling and information on where to find self-help materials. You can also visit the Health Promotion Office on the main floor of the Student Union to find tobacco cessation education literature, pick up a “Quit Kit,” or schedule a cessation counseling session.
-- Robert O. Kelley, President