Seattle University is a tobacco-free campus. Following are answers to commonly asked questions on the university’s new policy.
Seattle University is dedicated to the Jesuit mission of educating the whole person and espouses a holistic view of the individual encompasses personal health and wellness. A tobacco-free campus initiative will protect our community from involuntary exposure to passive smoke, promote cessation and create a supportive environment for those interested in quitting tobacco use. Ultimately, this policy will encourage a healthier and more productive learning, living and working environment for all members of the SU community.
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of premature death in the United States. In the 50 years since the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health, smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke has been attributed to more than 20 million premature deaths. Research shows that tobacco use leads to a greater risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes and other chronic illness. There is no question that smoking and oral or smokeless tobacco is linked to increased rates of cancer and cancer-related deaths.
The decision was made after a thorough and deliberate process that was initiated and led by Student Government Seattle University (SGSU) and the Tobacco-Free Campus Exploratory Committee. The process included extensive outreach to campus constituents. Feedback from all members of the university community was invited through surveys, a referendum, focus groups and other meetings and events. Representatives of the committee also consulted with the university’s leadership, Academic Assembly and the Deans’ Council. Each leadership body endorsed the proposal.
The findings revealed a prevailing sentiment to become a tobacco-free campus in order to promote the health and well-being of the SU community:
The tobacco-free policy applies to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes and any other smoking devices that use tobacco (e.g. hookahs) and nicotine delivery devices that simulate the use of tobacco (e.g. electronic cigarettes, vaping).
Products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the uses of mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease are permitted under this policy.
This policy shift is primarily about health and E-cigarettes are unregulated and have not been fully studied. It is unclear how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use.
The use and sale of tobacco products is prohibited on and within all Seattle University owned, leased and managed property, and at university-sponsored off-campus events. This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff and visitors.
A community enforcement model will be followed as all members of the SU community are responsible for ensuring compliance with the university’s tobacco-free policy. This is similar to our current policy.
Members of the Seattle University community are invited to assist with the implementation of this policy by respectfully informing tobacco users of this change. One might say “Pardon me, I’m not sure if you’re aware but Seattle U has recently gone tobacco free”
The task force will also be providing community members with printed materials with policy information and extinguishing areas that can be given to someone using tobacco. Our hope is that we are respectful and caring toward one another in each of these interactions.
First and foremost, please provide a tobacco user with the courtesy of a personal conversation, allowing them to move to a place where tobacco use is permitted.
Initially we’re focused on informing people of this new policy and redirecting tobacco users to locations where use is permitted. Other tobacco free campuses have found this approach successful and we have every reason to expect people will respect this new policy.
The policy does also allow for disciplinary or corrective action in the case of repeated violations.
Signage will be installed throughout campus and at the main entryways to campus. Efforts are also being made to proactively communicate SU’s new policy to visitors. For instance, protocols are in place to inform third-party entities coming onto campus to deliver goods and services, as well as reserve university facilities for events. In addition, the university is reaching out to partner neighborhood associations to inform them of the new policy.
Yes, the university currently offers a variety of opportunities for cessation and is also exploring other ways to support community members in their efforts to stop using tobacco. Current resources include:
Quit kits are free and can be picked up in Wellness and Health Promotion (Student Center 380). Quit kits include: