Tobacco Free U: 2013 New Jersey Report
American Cancer Society Report Shows Increasing Trend of NJ College Campuses Going Tobacco Free/Smoke Free
Trenton, NJ – (February 12, 2013) More and more colleges across New Jersey are giving tobacco a failing grade and banning tobacco use on campus. The increasing trend is detailed in a new American Cancer Society report released today.
According to the American Cancer Society’s "Tobacco-Free U: New Jersey Colleges Expel Tobacco," one out of four colleges have adopted smoke-free or tobacco-free campus policies. Tobacco free means that the use of tobacco in any form is prohibited everywhere on campus. Smoke free means that smoking tobacco in the form of cigarettes, cigars and pipes is prohibited everywhere on campus.
The American Cancer Society gathered data for Tobacco-Free U over the course of several months from 83 percent of college campuses across New Jersey (55 out of 66 colleges). Key findings of the report include:
· 26 percent have implemented a tobacco-free or smoke-free campus policy.
· 35 percent restrict smoking to designated smoking areas away from the buildings.
· 39 percent of public colleges have a tobacco-free or smoke-free policy in place.
· Overall, 26 percent of college campuses either have implemented or are in the process of adopting/implementing a tobacco-free or smoke-free policy.
“Colleges should be places where students learn lessons to last a lifetime, not where students pick up a life-long addiction,” said Alvaro Carrascal, Senior Vice President of Cancer Control, American Cancer Society. “Just as important as the numbers of colleges that currently are tobacco free, are the numbers of colleges that have started the process. A change in attitudes is clear. The shift from campuses that allow smoking to those that don’t means generations of students won’t be saddled with a tobacco addiction well into their adult lives.”
Reasons for implementing tobacco-free/smoke-free policies are varied and include employers focusing on employee wellness to reduce healthcare costs and improve productivity; strengthening the health of students; increasing class attendance; lower maintenance and cleaning costs; reduced fire risk; and lower insurance rates.
According to the American Cancer Society, college campuses are an important target of the tobacco industry. Tobacco companies understand that time away at college is when many students solidify long-term lifestyle choices. More than 11,000 New Jerseyans will die this year of smoking-related diseases and more than $3.17 billion is spent on health care costs each year to treat smoking caused illnesses.
With so many colleges choosing to enact tobacco-free policies, it is unfortunate that the state has virtually eliminated the Tobacco Control Program budget in recent years. Institutions of higher education need a great deal of guidance, support, and access to resources to transition to a tobacco-free environment. Meanwhile, the state takes in more than $1 billion each year from tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes but is spending not even a full penny on the dollar to help people quit, reduce secondhand smoke exposure, and assisting institutions like colleges to become tobacco free.
For more information about Tobacco-Free U and to access the report, visit cancer.org/nynj. To get tips on how to quit smoking, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or log onto cancer.org.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.