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What Does a Tobacco Free Campus Look Like?

The TobaccoFreeCampus Committee is advisory to another committee (Health & Safety) that is also advisory.  We have not yet advised a specific new tobacco policy for UW Oshkosh because we are still in "study" mode. Therefore, we cannot present a UW Oshkosh-specific policy draft at this time.

Significantly, as of Jan 2, 2013, nearly 800 college campuses nationwide have gone TobaccoFree, with more than 300 going SmokeFree.  That is roughly 25% of American campuses with more restrictive policies than Act 12.  Many more are in "study" mode, just like we are.

It has been argued that the tobacco culture at UW Oshkosh is too entrenched, making a change in policy unfair.  The two top tobacco PRODUCING states in the nation are Kentucky and North Carolina.   So far, 12 campuses in Kentucky have gone TFC, including the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. Almost 50 campuses in North Carolina have gone TFC.  Our neighbor across the river, FVTC, goes TFC in July 2013.

It has been argued that UW Oshkosh is "too big" to go TobaccoFree, that it's only something that a small campus can accomplish. See list below.   Campuses 2-5x our size have done it.

It has been argued that campuses which go TFC risk losing enrollment.  We have searched for examples of this but, to our knowledge, loss of enrollment has never occurred.  See list below.

 

The best we can do at this time is refer you to policies at other campuses.

 

Arizona State University About 68,000 students; goes TFC in August 2013

All Campuses of the Fox Valley Technical College Serves 50,000 students annually; goes TFC on July 1, 2013; many non-traditional students

University of Kentucky About 28,000 students; top tobacco producing state in the nation

University of Louisville About 22,000 students; top tobacco producing state in the nation

Montana State University About 14,000 students

University of Wisconsin-Stout About 9,000 students; set enrollment record a year after TFC policy began

 

What about enforcement?

Failing to obey any campus signage already comes with a ticket penalty, and violations of Act 12 are already on the books as a ticket of between $100-$250.  Student and Employee handbooks already contain measures for failure to obey any campus rule.

The fact is, for existing campus policies about many different behaviors, excellent compliance (ca. 95%) is obtained through the honor system, also known as "social enforcement".

Campuses that have enacted stricter tobacco policies like those we are studying report the need for active education during a break-in period, but both anecdotes and the peer-reviewed medical literature report that an honor system tobacco policy brings real benefits to campus citizens.  (see Why Go Tobacco Free?)

 

Questions?

Email tobaccofree@uwosh.edu.

by Linn, Molly M last modified Feb 25, 2013 07:45 AM