Promoting adoption of tobacco-free college campus policies – 10/26/10
Q: What have other state tobacco programs done to communicate information about tobacco-free and smoke-free campus policies, and to encourage colleges/universities to adopt these policies? Please share any samples of informational materials that might be useful (mailings, brochures, Web links, etc).
- Alabama: The Alabama Tobacco Use and Control program provides technical assistance such as information for talking points, smoke-free policy data, and tobacco use statistics. Alabama had its first public community college, Calhoun Community College in Athens, adopt a tobacco-free campus policy in August 2010.
- Arizona/Maricopa County: A college tobacco program called IGNITE was started as a result of a series of focus groups and coalition meetings that took place back in 2004, and was designed to address tobacco control issues at the college level. Currently we are working with thirteen colleges and universities in the Phoenix area to implement the IGNITE program. IGNITE is funded through a grant with the Arizona Department of Health Services and is run through the county health department.
The IGNITE program creates a tobacco taskforce on participating college campuses that completes projects in three main areas of tobacco control:
As a result of the above efforts, two years ago, the Maricopa Community College District (which encompasses 10 community colleges) appointed two of the IGNITE faculty advisors to research and draft an official proposal for a policy that would make all ten of the community colleges in the Phoenix Valley 100% tobacco-free campuses. The support for this initiative by faculty, students, and administrators has been very positive. A recent survey found that 73% of respondents would support a smoke-free campus. The proposed policy will soon be presented to the college presidents, chancellors and vice chancellors for approval.
- Promoting cessation among tobacco users – Students plan projects encouraging current tobacco users to quit and provide information and resources to the campus community on available cessation services. Most colleges choose to participate in tobacco events like the Great American Smokeout and Kick Butts Day in addition to other projects promoting cessation throughout the year. We also offer training to campus personnel on basic intervention skills and assist them in developing their own campus cessation program that includes a referral system to the Arizona Smoker’s Helpline and where appropriate, on campus cessation classes.
- Raising awareness about the risks of tobacco use and the benefits of staying tobacco-free – Projects in this area generally fall into two categories: cross-age teaching opportunities with local high school classes or youth groups and education campaigns on campus that promote tobacco-free norms and educate about the benefits of living a tobacco-free life.
- Advocating for safe and health environments through policy – Each participating school also completes various advocacy projects. These projects have taken a variety of approaches. Some groups have chosen to document tobacco issues around campus (incorrect disposal of cigarette butts, out of place ashtrays, problem smoking areas etc). Others have conducted survey projects gathering information and support for a policy change to create a smoke-free campus. Other groups have held panel discussions, focus groups, or town hall style meetings discussing these issues. Many of our schools have documented their work on various projects throughout the year and submitted proposals or presented information to college administrators. One school was successful in convincing their school to purchase additional ashtrays after demonstrating that litter from cigarette butts was a problem on campus. Other groups have presented student feedback showing support for a smoke-free campus environment.
We have found that the efforts of the IGNITE program have been a great catalyst for inspiring policy changes at college institutions. We have found the BACCHUS Peer Education Network to be a great resource in our efforts as they have a wealth of information and printed materials to supplement efforts such as these.
- California: Since 1998, the California Department of Public Health California Tobacco Control Program has been funding a statewide training and technical assistance organization to address tobacco issues on California college campuses. The organization, the California Youth Advocacy Network (CYAN), works with local tobacco control organizations and college campuses on the adoption, implementation, and enforcement of smoke-free/ tobacco-free policies within the University of California, California State University, and California Community College systems and private institutions. CYAN does so through the coordination of a statewide advocacy campaign (COUGH), providing training for local advocates on campus-related tobacco initiatives, meeting with university/college administrators and state governing boards, and networking college advocates with others working on similar policy campaigns.
To work with campuses on policy change, CYAN relies on campus/community organizing and data collection. Finding campus-based advocates and assessing the campus for tobacco-related issues provides critical evidence to support policy adoption and enforcement. CYAN has developed a variety of tools on tobacco-free college policy, young adult cessation, and college organizing around tobacco issues that are available to anyone working on a college smoke-free/ tobacco-free campaign.
Click for more information on CYAN and their work with college campuses.
- Delaware: Delaware Technical Community College has campuses on four sites throughout Delaware. The Del Tech campuses will be going smoke-free on January 1, 2011. Below is a summary from a trainer-educator with the Delaware Tobacco Prevention and Control Program who has assisted Del Tech in the process of going smoke-free.
Delaware Technical and Community College Statewide Campus Smoke-free Grounds Project
It began with providing informational tables twice a year in the spring and fall during the semester registration four years ago. I would suggest smoke-free grounds to human resources and student services each time I visited.
One year ago, I brought up the idea during a health committee meeting for the Sussex County Child Health Prevention Coalition. One of the committee members is a state representative and he was appalled that the campus had not gone smoke-free. Next thing I knew, I got the message from the statewide community college campus director that all four campuses were going smoke-free and requested my help.
A campus committee was formed with a contact at each campus site. We began work in June of 2010 in preparation for the grounds to go smoke-free on January 1, 2011.
Posters, brochures and media commercial clips of the "Delaware Quitline" were provided to play during lunch on all campuses. The materials were made available so that students would get the information the first week of school and during the fall semester. An announcement was also posted of the college website.
Dates and times were set for me to provide informational tables statewide with the nursing department students assisting. Sign up sheets were posted for smoking cessation programs.
Dates and times were agreed upon for smoking session programming in all campuses. We decided on lunchtime programs that were one hour long (11am-12pm for students and 12-1pm for staff) once a week for three consecutive weeks. One campus a month is to be completed from September to December 2010. At this time, one campus has been completed.
- Louisiana: Please see the attached Louisiana 18-24 Initiative overview for the Louisiana Tobacco Control Program/ Campus Resistance Against Smoking Habits (C.R.A.S.H.) and Tobacco-free Living /Fresh Campus.
- Maine: The following is a brief summary of our continuing work in Maine to develop a strong policy-based effort to reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure and to promote tobacco-free living for students, faculty, staff and visitors at all of Maine's institutions of higher education.
Maine Tobacco-Free College Network (MTFCN) began in February of 2002 as an outgrowth of collaboration between the University of Southern Maine and two Healthy Maine Partnerships (specifically Communities Promoting Health and Healthy Portland) to support individual Maine campus efforts for adopting stronger tobacco policies and reducing tobacco use on campuses. Many of the members of this early Maine effort had recently attended a conference in Worcester, Massachusetts sponsored by the New England College Health Association and the American Cancer Society which focused on the ACS Smoke-Free New England initiative to combat new, direct and strong campus based efforts by the tobacco industry to addict more young adults to their product.
Connecting Maine's college campuses with their local, affiliated Healthy Maine Partnership was the beginning of a campus-community partnership which was strengthened by the inclusion of the local office of the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association of Maine, The Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine/Maine CDC, the Maine Coalition on Smoking or Health, the Maine College Health Association, and the Maine Association of Student Affairs Practitioners.
Ongoing goals, developed during a statewide conference, remain to:
In 2009, with funding from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Maine, the Network was re-engaged and reorganized as part of the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine. The existing website was updated to provide information and resources for colleges and universities across Maine. This site includes information to support the efforts of colleges to adopt stronger tobacco policies by providing information on tobacco use and secondhand smoke, data related to high risk populations for tobacco use and exposure, tips for administrators on policy adoption and enforcement, and policy guidelines derived from the American Cancer Society’s Smoke-Free New England Campus Initiative 7-Step Plan to a Tobacco-Free Campus. In fall 2010, the Network is reaching out to college administrators to learn more about additional resources that would help their policy adoption efforts.
- Address the needs of disparate populations and non-traditional students.
- Improve access to tobacco treatment services on campuses using best practice models and including referral to the free, confidential Maine Tobacco HelpLine.
- Increase data collection regarding tobacco use on college campuses in Maine.
- Create a strong voice for strengthened campus tobacco policies.
- Advocate for smoke-free on-campus and off-campus housing for all who wish to live in a smoke-free environment.
- Ensure all students, staff and visitors of Maine’s college communities are provided with an environment that supports tobacco-free living.
In the coming year, the Network will be developing an awards program to recognize Maine’s post-secondary educational institutes that have adopted, implemented and effectively enforce comprehensive tobacco policies that are in accord with the standards developed by MTFCN.
- Nebraska: The state tobacco program, Tobacco-free Nebraska, brought in Ty Patterson to do some presentations and to provide technical assistance to a couple campuses in North Platte and McCook, Nebraska. Click here to learn more about him and the Tobacco-free Campus Center of Excellence where he works.
- New York: Currently in New York we have seven contracts working on about fifteen college campuses. Click here to check out the website they have developed.
- Oklahoma: In Oklahoma, the state tobacco control program provides technical assistance to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Our point of contact within that office has been the coordinator of the System Safety, Health & Environment Resource Center. This individual actively promotes the adoption of tobacco-free policies through her network of Safety and Health Coordinators from all colleges and universities statewide. She also regularly convenes a workgroup, which includes state health department staff, to advance the effort. These approaches have fostered peer-to-peer communications that have effectively achieved local ownership and advocacy.
Oklahoma’s first annual tobacco-free campus symposium was sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in July 2010. This event had over 100 campus representatives and student leaders in attendance. The workgroup is currently planning the 2011 symposium which will likely be held in conjunction with a statewide student government leadership meeting. There is a strong commitment by state regents staff to conduct the annual symposium until all Oklahoma colleges and universities are tobacco-free.
In addition, local tobacco control coalitions and state health department staff provide direct technical assistance to campus leaders on an as-needed basis. To date, 16 accredited colleges and universities in Oklahoma have adopted 100% tobacco-free policies.
For more information about tobacco-free campus initiatives in Oklahoma, please contact Dave Wattenbarger.
- Oregon: The Oregon Tobacco Prevention & Education Program (TPEP) began a statewide focus on community college tobacco policy in late 2006. At that time, no Oregon community college had a 100% smoke-free policy; by July 2010, five of Oregon’s community colleges (representing 50% of all community college students statewide) had adopted 100% tobacco-free or smoke-free campus policies. Some of the steps that led to this success include:
- Oregon TPEP contracted with the American Lung Association in Oregon (ALAO) to lead this initiative, providing statewide coordination and local technical assistance.
- TPEP-funded county health departments were required to work on community college policy from 2007 through 2009. ALAO offered training and technical assistance to county TPEP programs focusing on assessment, identification of partners and champions, education and outreach, policy development and implementation, and media advocacy.
- Interviewed a key staff person at the state agency overseeing the community colleges to gain understanding of the colleges’ structure, policy process and possible champions.
- Partnered with Oregon School Boards Association to develop a model policy.
- Conducted outreach to statewide networks of community college administrators and student leaders to assess knowledge and interest related to this issue, raise awareness, and develop partnerships.
- Partnered with the Oregon Council of Student Services Administrators to field a 3-college telephone survey related to tobacco and secondhand smoke on survey. Results clearly demonstrated the problem of secondhand smoke on campus and student support for policy change. The survey instrument and results are attached.
- Conducted executive interviews with college presidents and board members identified perceived barriers and benefits of tobacco-free campus policy.
- Partnered with tobacco-free institutions including Ozarks Technical College and Clark College to create “Making Your Campus Tobacco-Free: A Guide for College Leaders.” This and other tools are available on the tobacco-free college section of www.smoke-freeoregon.com.
- Brought colleagues from tobacco-free colleges to Oregon to share their stories of success at statewide conferences, as well as at meetings with individual colleges, providing a critical boost in credibility for college administrators to hear directly from their peers. Suggested contacts: Ty Patterson, Ozarks Technical College, and Rebecca Wale, Clark College Environmental Health and Employee Development Program Manager.
- Washington: Local policies are compiled and stored on our contractor website. We don’t have much by way of brochures, but do have information on our secondhand smoke website that we share with people interested in making changes.
You can see the policies for the state here, or click on a county and then look at the policy report for that county.
It is also important to note that many of our state’s college campus policies are codified through state administrative code. For instance, the University of Washington policy is in WAC 478-136-035. Click here to view the policy language.
- West Virginia: West Virginia’s @ Against Tobacco Program, started in 2005, presently has 16 colleges and universities participating for the school year 2010-11. Schools range in size from 28,000 at West Virginia University to 582 persons at Ohio Valley University. Click here to view some basic information about our @ schools.
There are no written guidelines to join the program but our rule of thumb is that the schools must offer some form of on-campus housing. The community and technical colleges are usually connected to our four-year institutions which allows for some information exchange. Each college and university has their own individual and unique events; however, we provide a template for particular events which must be held to receive grant funding, and @ members must provide midterm and final reports to their Regional Tobacco Prevention Coordinator.
In August of this year, at the request of the schools during our yearly conference, a Facebook page was started, and the @ group has a webpage, which provides information about the schools and contact information. These two forms of information are underused, but over time the hope is that usage will increase as advisors and students become more aware.
This past April, a two-day statewide conference was held with 85 students attending. Tad Spencer and Julie Weissbuch from the BACCHUS Network spoke to the group on how to gain support for a tobacco-free campus. Some advertising has been done through the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, of which most of the smaller schools are members. Member schools will also place ads in their school papers.
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