Missouri S&T plans to become tobacco-free by July 1, 2016

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On October 1, 2015

By July 1, 2016, Missouri University of Science and Technology intends to join more than 1,000 other colleges and universities in the U.S. by becoming a tobacco-free campus.

“The research is clear that tobacco use constitutes a significant health hazard,” says Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader, Missouri S&T’s chancellor. “As a university, we recognize our responsibility to promote a healthy environment to protect the current and future health of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. We also recognize the need for a smooth transition to a tobacco-free environment, which is why we are waiting until next July to fully implement the change.”

The tobacco-free policy under development by campus leaders would prohibit the use of any tobacco-derived or tobacco-containing product on property owned or controlled by Missouri S&T, including property under lease or other contractual arrangements and vehicles owned, leased or rented by the university.

Products prohibited under the proposed policy would include cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and vapes, cigars and cigarillos, hookah-smoked products, pipes, and oral and nasal tobacco products. The use of products intended to mimic tobacco products or the smoking of any other substance would also be prohibited.

According to the 2015 Missouri College Health Behavior Survey, only 15 percent of Missouri S&T students smoke on a daily basis and 88 percent of those who smoke want to quit. Over 71 percent of Missouri S&T students believe that S&T should have smoke-free outdoor areas.

A tobacco-free campus also helps prepare today’s students for the future workplace, says Dr. Dennis Goodman, director of student health at Missouri S&T and a member of the working group drafting the tobacco-free campus policy. “Many worksites, school grounds, and health care, recreation and transportation facilities have become 100 percent smoke-free or tobacco-free,” he says.

The move toward a tobacco-free campus also aligns with recommendations from University of Missouri System President Timothy M. Wolfe. In a May 22 memo to Schrader and the chancellors of the UM System’s other three campuses, Wolfe urged the campus leaders “to implement policies to reduce tobacco use and promote health.”

“While the use of tobacco is a personal choice,” Wolfe wrote, “the health hazards related to smoking and exposure to second- and third-hand smoke are well-documented by the Surgeon General.”

Missouri S&T leaders plan to hold open forums to discuss the proposed policy in October. Student Council plans to hold a forum for students in early October but a date has not yet been determined. An open forum for all students, faculty and staff will be held at noon Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Meramec-Gasconade Room of the Havener Center.

More information about the tobacco-free policy under development is available online at http://hr.mst.edu/rewards/wellness/tobacco-freecampus/. Information on how to quit tobacco is available at http://www.umsystem.edu/totalrewards/wellness/tobacco_cessation. Also, in 2016 the university will offer a discount on medical insurance premiums for employees who are tobacco free or in a cessation program.

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8 thoughts on “Missouri S&T plans to become tobacco-free by July 1, 2016”

  • Michael says:

    The banning of vapes as well under this order is a bit absurd. A vape contains absolutely no tobacco and does not promote the smoking of tobacco. The only harmful chemical in it is nicotine which most people don’t use anyway. Furthermore many people use vapes in order to quit using much more unhealthy tobacco products. I ask you please educate yourself further before jumping to such a ban.

  • Gandalf Sidio says:

    Please provide any scientific data used to determine that vaping should be included in this ban (i.e. health risks etc).

  • Joshua Nixon says:

    My main concern is the portion where this policy would apply to all property under lease. Would this include Fraternities on Fraternity Row where the property is leased?

    Also, if students chose to still smoke/vape on school property despite this policy, what is the procedure, if any, for disciplining them?

  • mm Andrew Careaga says:

    The questions about vaping, enforcement, etc., are addressed in the FAQ. Also, as the news release indicates, the policy is still under development. We hope individuals plan to attend the upcoming open forums. More information about those forums will be publicized next week.

    Andrew Careaga
    Missouri S&T Marketing and Communications
    (Also a member of the tobacco-free policy working group)

  • Austin says:

    Smokeless tobacco does not pose as a risk for other students and faculty. There have been multiple studies done proving that it is actually a safe alternative to smoking. You are more likely to win the lottery than to acquire oral cancer from smokeless tobacco. It will not affect others and should not be included in this policy. No serious health concerns are actually associated with these products.

  • Caleb Smith says:

    Banning smoking in outdoor areas away from windows and building entrances is unfair to both non-traditional students and poor students while accomplishing nothing to improve the health of non-smoking students. Statistically, younger people are less likely to smoke than older people as well as people from higher income households are less likely to smoke than from low income. As an endorphin promoting chemical, nicotine is vital to the success of S&T’s poor and non-traditional students. It is my opinion, and the opinion of several of my peers, that this institution is taking my tuition and my tax dollars while trying to legislate morality.
    I have contacted my attorney to see what legal recourse I and my peers have at our disposal to protect our freedoms and promote our academic interests.

  • Justin Clinton says:

    I understand the issue with cigarettes, cigars etc. as it is a genuine health concern, but smokeless tobacco products? How is that a concern for anybody else? Is it hurting anybody else? No it is not. What studies have been done to show that chewing tobacco, vapes, etc. can be harmful to my neighbors? It is solely be up to the person who chooses to do so. You would be overstepping your boundaries if this ban includes smokeless tobacco products. You have no right or valid reason to take that choice away from anyone even if it could be harmful to their own health.

  • Kathy Morris says:

    Passive Vaping: “Does e-cigarette consumption cause passive vaping?” T. Schripp, D. Markewitz, E. Uhde and T. Salthammer Article first published online: 2 JUL 2012 .Indoor Air Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 25–31, February 2013 DOI: 0.1111/j.1600-0668.2012.00792.x.” The consumption of e-cigarettes causes emissions of aerosols and VOCs, such as 1,2-propanediol, flavoring substances, and nicotine, into indoor air. During inhalation of e-cigarette vapor, the aerosol size distribution alters in the human lung and leads to an exhalation of smaller particles.”…Overall, the e-cigarette is a new source of VOCs and ultrafine/fine particles in the indoor environment. Therefore, the question of ‘passive vaping’ can be answered in the affirmative.”

    Adverse health effects for the smoker: Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, DOI: 10.1080/10807039.2015.1100064 Qingyu Mengabc, Stephan Schwanderac*, Yeongkwon Sona, Cesar Rivasa, Cristine Delvenoabc, Judith Graberabc, Daniel Giovencoab, Uma Bruena, Rose Mathewa & Mark Robsonacd
    Received: 19 Jul 2015 Accepted: 22 Sep 2015 Accepted author version posted online: 09 Oct 2015
    Has the mist been peered through? Revisiting the building blocks of human health risk assessment for electronic cigarette use. Accepted author version posted online: 09 Oct 2015 Results: …”; E-cigarette may be as efficient as traditional cigarettes in nicotine delivery, especially for experienced users, and studies suggest lower emissions of air toxics from E-cigarette vapor and lower second- and third-hand vapor exposures. But some toxic emissions may surpass those of traditional cigarettes, especially under high voltage vaping conditions. Experimentally, E-vapor/E-liquid exposures reduce cell viability and promote pro-inflammatory cytokine release. User vulnerability to concomitant environmental agent exposures, such as viruses and bacteria, may potentially be increased.”

    Front Psychiatry. 2015; 6: 123. Published online 2015 Sep 1. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00123
    PMCID: PMC4554940 The Psychobiological Problems of Continued Nicotine Dependency in E-Cigarette ‘Vapers’. Commentary: “Electronic Cigarettes”
    Andrew C. Parrott1,* ” In summary, nicotine is a powerful CNS stimulant with a wide range of adverse effects. Its addictive potential may be widely recognized, but there is far less realization about its damaging psychobiological and health effects – on heart rate, mood stability, alertness, neurocognitive skills, sleep, the HPA axis, cortisol, and stress (12). These psychobiological deficits are likely to be found in regular users of E-cigarettes, even in those who use them alone (i.e., without smoking tobacco cigarettes in parallel; see Table ​Table1).1). The main aim of this commentary is to emphasize that all these core functions, which are crucial for human well-being, need to be empirically studied in E-cigarette users. My core prediction is that these damaging effects of nicotine in cigarette smokers will be replicated in users of E-cigarettes “.