Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Cigarette smoking is a key contributor to heart disease, stroke and other respiratory diseases and is responsible for 87% of lung cancer cases. Those exposed to secondhand smoke face an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. For these and others reasons , including our commitment to promoting the wellness and healthy living of students, employees and visitors, beginning August 1, 2011, CBU will begin the process of banning the use of all tobacco products on the University campus.
September 20, 2010
To the campus community:
In our ongoing effort to create an environment that is healthy for all members of our community, CBU will become a tobacco-free university by August 1, 2011. The decision to become tobacco free is a logical and important extension of CBU’s commitment to be an effective citizen of the Memphis community and a leader in the wellness movement.
Approximately 15 years ago, CBU designated all common campus buildings and offices as tobacco free. The new policy will apply to the entire CBU campus area, including contractors, and visitors to our campus.
Quitting smoking can be one of the most important lifestyle changes individuals can make to improve their health for the rest of their life. It can also be one of the most challenging. This is such an important effort because tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is a key contributor to heart disease, stroke, and other respiratory diseases and is responsible for 87 percent of lung cancers. Those exposed to secondhand smoke face an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. Children have a greater chance of developing asthma and bronchitis. Smoking also affects our economy by an increase in health care costs and loss of productivity due to premature death.
We realize that this policy may directly impact individuals that live and/or work on our campus on a daily basis. We will be deliberative as we enact this change, with input from the campus community on how best to put our new policy into practice, ensuring that the needs of our University’s varied constituents are understood. We will communicate this change both internally and externally over the next several months so that individuals will have advance notice of any activities regarding tobacco free changes that will be taking place.
To help make the transition a successful one, I have appointed a University committee, to be co-chaired by Ms. Karen Barnett, Dean of Students, and Mr. Ken Massa, Director of Human Resources. The sub-committees – which have a makeup of faculty, staff and students also representing smokers, non-smokers and former smokers – will address issues of student life, human resources, communications, grounds and facilities, and venues for visitors to the University campus.
I have asked the committee to submit periodic progress reports to me on an as needed basis. I look forward to working with you as we improve the health and physical wellbeing of our community. Thank you for your understanding and support as we continue to partner with others in our community to encourage a healthier CBU.
Dr. John Smarrelli Jr.