REMINDER: LSU is 100% tobacco free, indoors and out. All tobacco and vaping products are prohibited. This includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless (chewing) tobacco and applies to all members of the LSU community and all visitors to campus.
The entire LSU community has the responsibility to eliminate tobacco use on our campus. LSU became 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. These can be life threatening.
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.
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), the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and Tobacco-Free Kids.
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.
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.
Young people are increasingly turning to vaping products, such as e-cigarettes, under the belief that they are safe. While they do have fewer carcinogens than cigarettes, the vapor still contains harmful elements, such as formaldehyde and heavy metals. The FDA is only now beginning to regulate e-cigarettes, and one of the concerns is that e-cigarette batteries can explode (similar to the batteries in hover boards that were prohibited on campus in 2015).
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: Current Cigarette Smoking, Access, and Purchases from Retail Outlets Among Students Aged 13–15 Years — Global Youth Tobacco Survey, 45 Countries, 2013 and 2014 September 1, 2016
- MMWR: Tobacco Advertising and Promotional Expenditures in Sports and Sporting Events—United States, 1992–2013 August 18, 2016
- MMWR: Disparities in Adult Cigarette Smoking — United States,2002–2005 and 2010–2013 August 4, 2016
- MMWR: Tobacco Product Use Among Adults—United States, 2013–2014 July 14, 2016
- MMWR: State and Local Smoke-Free Laws for Worksites, Restaurants, and Bars—United States, 2015 June 23, 2016
- MMWR: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2015 June 9, 2016
- MMWR: Electronic Cigarette Use Among Working Adults—United States, 2014 June 9, 2016
- Fact Sheet: Youth and Tobacco Use April 14, 2016
- MMWR: Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2011-2015 April 14, 2016
- Infographic: Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2011-2015 April 14, 2016
The Great Flood of 2016 and Tobacco Use
The Great Flood of 2016 and Tobacco Use
Here we go again! Another semester and a new crisis! Many of you are dealing with all sorts of emotions as you deal with the Great Flood of 2016, and we still have other issues that will cause stress and frustration. Among the WORST ways to cope is to start, resume or increase tobacco use. Following every major event -- Katrina/Rita, Gustav/Ike, the state's financial crises, for example -- tobacco use increasingly becomes a crutch to get through the crisis. Individuals who experience depression and major changes in life circumstances often rely on tobacco for relief.
But, here are excellent reasons NOT to rely on tobacco in these trying times:
1) LSU has a 100% tobacco-free campus for many reasons -- prevent exposing others to secondhand smoke, decrease litter that costs the University money to clean up, reduce the medical/insurance costs for treating preventable, tobacco-related diseases, for example. Complying with our campus policy will benefit the entire community.
2) Tobacco use costs money that right now should be used for necessities -- supplies for school children, replacement for clothing, appliances, furniture lost to flood waters, etc. Louisiana recently raised the tax on tobacco products specifically to deter young people from taking up the habit and to cover the healthcare costs of smokers who develop series diseases ranging from cancer and heart disease to asthma and emphysema.
3) Tobacco use will not truly help cope with a crisis. Smokers usually do feel calmer for a short period of time. But, then the craving for more nicotine will only increase stress later on. It's a vicious cycle with no good ending.
4) Exposing children and pets to secondhand smoke increases the likelihood that they will develop serious illnesses that will only add to the family stress.
Instead of relying on tobacco to cope, follow the advice of Dr. Lee Tynes, a local psychiatrist who lost his home to flooding following Hurricane Katrina:
Grief happens in many stages, beginning with short, intermediate and finally long term.
Take action and find resources (government, charities, individuals) that can help. But, know this initial stage may mean delaying your feelings of grief.
Normalize your loss. Get back to daily activities and routine (except for smoking!) as much as possible.
Create reasonable distractions. Go to dinner with your family, watch a movie or visit the park -- but don't use tobacco as a distraction.
Balance your media intake. Use it to find resources but realize when it is overwhelming.
Know when to get help. Trying to quit smoking during a crisis is even more difficult when tobacco is a coping crutch. BUT, since your habit is already disrupted, focusing on finding resources and finding distractions at places where smoking is prohibited (such as the LSU campus!) can help you break your habit. Just be aware of patterns that lead to increased, rather than decreased, tobacco use. See a mental health provider or seek smoking cessation help if you need it!
Healing takes time. But, try to focus on the future -- and that future will be healthier and less stressful without tobacco.
(Thanks to Dr. Lee Tynes. Adapted from his blog at: http://blog.ololrmc.com/dealing-with-grief-and-stress-from-a-katrina-suvivor/)