Countdown to a tobacco-free, smoke-free campus is ticking fast

Courtesy of neatoday.org

Maria Randazzo, Substance Abuse Specialist at the Wellness Center

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Next Wednesday, March 19, marks National “Kick Butts” Day, a day in which everyone is encouraged to support a tobacco-free campus, and for those who haven’t already quit the habit to do so.

Effective July 1, 2015, Le Moyne College will become a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus. At that time, the use of any form of tobacco will be strictly prohibited in and around of all Le Moyne owned buildings, including those located on campus, as well as parking lots and sidewalks. July 1, 2015 may seem like a long ways off; but in reality, it’s only 474 days away.

Since the mid-1980s, Le Moyne has restricted smoking in all of its facilities as part of the college’s ongoing commitment to encourage and support healthy lifestyles within its community. This year, growing interest by the Le Moyne community in a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus [which includes e-cigarettes and chew] led to an official proposal. Its passing was supported by numerous student and faculty organizations, including Campus Life and Leadership and the Student Government Association.

Le Moyne will strive to enforce the new policy regulations in a non-threatening way. The college is not requiring that students and staff stop using tobacco products; however assistance is being offered to those who would like to quit.

This past summer, the staff at the Wellness Center for Health and Counseling felt as the college community goes tobacco free, they should be able to assist those wanting to “kick” the habit. Fifteen staff and students were trained by professionals at St. Joseph’s Hospital to become smoking cessation counselors. The cessation counselors are Le Moyne community members who are available to give added support for those who are ready to quit any type of tobacco addiction.

Counseling sessions can be individualized or in a group. Studies by the Center of Disease Control and National Cancer Institute  have shown that having the added support of cessation counselors, increases success rate to quitting and staying tobacco-free.

Information and support for those looking to quit can be found at www.smokefree.gov, and New York State Smokers’ Quitline [1-866-697-8487 or www.nysmokefree.com]. For tips on quitting smokeless tobacco, check out www.killthecan.org. There are also a number of useful apps for smartphones that can be found at www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/top-iphone-android-apps-quit-smoking.

The expectation is that members of the Le Moyne community will voluntarily comply with the policy. It is the responsibility of everyone on campus to inform others of the new policy and ask that they extinguish their cigarette and refrain from using tobacco products on campus.

Campus signage, college publications, college-wide announcements and a countdown system will allow Le Moyne students, staff, faculty and administrator’s adequate time for preparation for the new tobacco-free, smoke-free policy when it takes effect on July 1, 2015.

Show your support by tweeting #tobaccofreeLMC, or check out Le Moyne’s own countdown calendar at www.lemoyne.edu\wellness.

Thanks to all at the Wellness Center for Health and Counselling for their contributions to this article. 

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