CUSG discusses tobacco-free campus

Published: Nov. 29, 2012

By the University of Colorado Student Government

The negative health effects of tobacco have been well documented and include an increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and stroke. Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in America. Beyond that second-hand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death. For those with asthma, respiratory ailments, and heart conditions, exposure to second-hand smoke can exacerbate those problems and potentially trigger a health crisis.

A tobacco-free policy on campus would not only help protect the health of non-smokers across campus, but also help smokers quit to improve theirown health. Within a few weeks of quitting, individuals have lower blood pressures, increased lung capacity, and are able to engage in greater amounts of physical activity. Their chances of the negative long-term effects from smoking also decrease.

Staff, faculty, and students at CU have been exploring a tobacco-free campus for over 10 years. More recently, over 500 campuses nationwide have gone tobacco free, including many of our Pac-12 peers. We believe now is the time to begin this change on our campus to protect the health of our campus community and be a leader among schools in our state.

A tobacco-free campus would help curb a recent trend in increased tobacco use in the past eight years by individuals after reaching the age of eighteen. It also provides an opportunity to improve the campus aesthetic by reducing the amount of tobacco liter. We can reinvest resources that are currently being spent on cleaning up this waste into other campus services.

The University of Colorado Student Government (CUSG) will be putting forward a resolution in support of moving our campus towards being 100 percent tobacco free. A tobacco-free policy will empower students, faculty and staff to speak up for their health and protect the well-being of everyone.