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To date, not a single college campus has rescinded its tobacco policy once established, so the LSU policy is here to stay.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
- MMWR: Frequency of Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2014 September 30, 2015
- MMWR: Flavored Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2014 September 30, 2015
- Press Release: High school athletes using smokeless tobacco more than non-athletes September 29, 2015
- MMWR: Combustible and Smokeless Tobacco Use Among High School Athletes—United States, 2001-2013 September 3, 2015
- Fact Sheet: Secondhand Smoke (SHS) Facts August 21, 2015
- Fact Sheet: Tobacco-Related Mortality August 18, 2015
- Fact Sheet: Economic Facts About U.S. Tobacco Production and Use August 18, 2015
- Fact Sheet: Fast Facts August 6, 2015
- Fact Sheet: Youth and Tobacco Use July 24, 2015
- Fact Sheet: Cigars July 23, 2015