The entire LSU community has the responsibility to eliminate tobacco use on our campus. LSU joined 42 other state campuses in become 100% tobacco-free on Aug. 1, 2014. All SEC campuses and more than 1,500 campuses nationally have no-smoking policies in place.
The benefits of having a tobacco-free campus include major reduction in tobacco litter than costs LSU an estimated $37,000 a year to clean up while reducing environmental damage to campus flower beds and the LSU Lakes. Exposure to secondhand smoke is eliminated. A quarter of the campus population is sensitive to tobacco smoke. Even small amounts of secondhand smoke can trigger allergy and asthma attacks in sensitive people.
To date, not a single college campus has rescinded its tobacco policy once established, so the LSU policy is here to stay. LSU’s policy prohibits the use of all tobacco products on campus property. This includes cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, pipes, water pipes, all smokeless tobacco (chew, snuff, etc.), and all non-FDA approved nicotine products. The policy applies to all members of the campus community and all visitors to campus.
While these campus policies are supported by state law (ACT 211) and the governor’s Well Ahead program, many groups have come together to support tobacco policies, including The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) that supports Fresh Campus student organizations on several state campuses through grants and programming, the American Lung Association.
The cost of smoking in Louisiana is staggering. At least 6,200 adults die each year from their own smoking. Approximately 98,000 kids now under 18 alive in Louisiana will ultimately die prematurely from smoking. The annual state health care costs directly caused by smoking is $1.89 billion. State campus tobacco policies can reverse these trends.
Coincidentally, 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. Surgeon General report that outlined the dangers of smoking. The most recent Surgeon General’s Report points out that if young people can remain tobacco free until age 26, more than 90 percent will never smoke.
Louisiana has many resources to support smoking cessation. TFL and Tobacco Control support the 1-800-QUITNOW phone counseling service. The Smoking Cessation Program benefits all Louisianans who started smoking cigarettes before Sept. 1, 1988. Mary Bird Perkins and other medical facilities in Baton Rouge, offer cessation classes. Insurance companies are increasing paying for smoking cessation treatment.
All of us, smokers and nonsmokers, must be involved in enforcing tobacco policies on state campuses. All of us have a stake in creating a tobacco-free generation.
Thank you for your support -- and welcome to our tobacco-free campus!
CDC SMOKING & TOBACCO NEWS
- Infographic: Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2011-2015 April 14, 2016
- MMWR: Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2011-2015 April 14, 2016
- Fact Sheet: Youth and Tobacco Use April 14, 2016
- Press Release: Impact of first federally funded anti-smoking ad campaign remains strong after three years March 25, 2016
- Infographic: Youth are exposed to e-cigarette advertisements from multiple sources February 12, 2016
- Infographic: E-cigarette use among youth is rising as e-cigarette advertising grows February 12, 2016
- Press Release: Powerful new ads mark the 5th year of the successful Tips From Former Smokers campaign January 20, 2016
- Vital Signs: E-Cigarette Advertising and Youth January 7, 2016
- MMWR: Vital signs: Exposure to Electronic Cigarette Advertisements among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2014 January 7, 2016
- Press Release: E-cigarette ads reach nearly 7 in 10 middle and high-school students January 5, 2016
Smoking in Bars & Casinos: Let’s Clear the Air
Smoking in Bars & Casinos: Let's Clear the Air
Healthier Air For All is leading the movement to get a local ordinance to prohibit smoking in bars and casinos in East Baton Rouge Parish -- similar to the ordinance that went into effect last year in New Orleans and other Louisiana communities.
Why should you care? Many in the LSU community frequent bars and casinos as patrons and can choose to go to a smoke-free environment or into a smokey one. But workers and musicians in these venues have no choice but to be exposed to second- and third-hand smoke -- and face health risks because of it.
A December 2015 SmokingWords survey of the LSU community also revealed support for an ordinance:
Are you aware the New Orleans passed a city ordinance that removed smoking from bars and casinos?
Students: 69% aware
Faculty/Staff/Administrators: 68% aware
Would you support or oppose an East Baton Rouge Parish ordinance that would remove smoking from local bars and casinos?
Students: 70% support
Faculty/Staff/Administrators: 79% support.
More than 50 percent of both groups also favored increasing the age for buying cigarettes to 21 and more than 60 percent favored raising the age for e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to 21.
Many in the Baton Rouge community want all work places to be safe and healthy places to work. The momentum and support exists to do something now to protect workers.
To find out how to get involved, please go to: