Hamline News

Hamline to Transition to Tobacco-Free Campus

In 2018, Hamline will join more than 50 other Minnesota colleges, and 1,757 across the country, in becoming a tobacco-free campus. The transition work is being done by an implementation team appointed by President Miller and comprised of students, faculty, and staff. The team has just started the planning phase of this work and will have assistance from the Tobacco-Free Alliance which has helped other local schools (such as St. Thomas, Macalester, and the University of Minnesota) become tobacco-free.

Being a tobacco-free campus involves a comprehensive policy that will include cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, chew, and all other forms of tobacco. The policy will not allow for designated tobacco use areas, but it will not be punitive.

Counseling & Health Services Director Hussein Rajput, who is chairing the implementation team, notes, “This policy makes sense for a number of reasons. Lifestyle habits, for better and for worse, are often established during the college years. From a public health standpoint, environments that support a tobacco-free lifestyle will literally save lives over the long run.”

The American College Health Association has recommended that all colleges and universities adopt a 100% tobacco-free policy. The Tobacco-Free Alliance says that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and that campus policies are proven to increase quit attempts. In conjunction with a well-funded cessation program, creating a supportive, tobacco-free environment is the key to helping tobacco users quit.

“For our community members who want to quit, resources will be available, including cessation products. Some physical changes to campus will include new signage and the removal of ashtrays,” Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress President Sara Antony said. “We will have a survey for student, faculty, and staff feedback on how to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

If students have any concerns or feedback, they are welcome to email husc@hamline.edu.  Hamline employees will have opportunities to offer on-line feedback in the months ahead.