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Tobacco-Free MSUB Q & A

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What would a tobacco-free policy include?

If a tobacco-free policy is adopted, the use of tobacco will not be permitted inside or outside on campus grounds.

Why should MSUB go tobacco-free?

  • When people choose to smoke on campus, they negatively impact the health of all people around them.
  • MSUB community members have a right to breathe clean air on campus.
  • Outdoor levels of secondhand smoke are equally as harmful as indoor levels.
  • There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke — secondhand smoke kills.
    • The Surgeon General's report specifies that tobacco use in any form, active or passive represents a significant health hazard to both smokers and non-smoker bystanders.
  • Even brief exposure to smoke as you're walking into a building can cause or exacerbate heart disease, asthma, allergies, and bronchitis (not to mention the smell of smoke on clothes).
  • 50,000 non-smokers die each year due to involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke in the U.S. alone.
  • Environmental policies are one of two strategies proven to reduce tobacco rates. The other is increasing tobacco taxes.

Does a Tobacco-Free MSUB mean tobacco will be banned on campus?

No. A "tobacco ban" indicates that no tobacco will be allowed on campus. A Tobacco-Free policy at MSUB does not mean people cannot have tobacco on campus, it means people may not use tobacco on campus.

Is smoking a constitutional "right"?

  • Tobacco use is a choice, not a constitutional right.
  • People do have the choice to smoke. A tobacco-free MSUB would not take away that choice, rather, tobacco users simply would not be able to use on campus where their personal choice negatively impacts the health of all people around them.
  • There is no constitutional "right" to smoke.
    • Smokers are not a category protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
    • Smoking is not a protected liberty right under the Due Process clause of the Constitution.

Would a tobacco-free policy take away an individual's person choice to use tobacco products?

  • Using tobacco is a personal choice. A tobacco-free policy at MSUB would not eliminate a person's choice to use tobacco products, these individuals simply would not be permitted to use these products on campus at MSUB where their personal choice negatively impacts the health of all people around them.
  • An example of a current law using the same logic is driving while intoxicated. Laws that make driving under the influence of alcohol illegal do not take away an individual's choice to consume alcohol, however it does limit where and when a person can choose to be under the influence. These laws are to protect the general publics' safety as are tobacco-free environments.

Are smokers are a "minority group" that is oppressed by this potential policy?

No. In terms of numbers, smokers make up a minority of the world, U.S. and our campus population, but they are not a minority group protected by the constitution. However, Smokers are not a category protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Likewise, smoking is not a protected liberty right under the Due Process clause of the Constitution. Suggesting that smokers are an oppressed minority group is not only an uneducated argument, but can be extremely offensive to truly oppressed, underrepresented and underserved groups, such as students of color here at MSUB. Tobacco use is a choice.

Are other schools around the country going tobacco-free?

Yes. Over 260 universities and colleges have already adopted smoke-or tobacco-free policies.

Are schools that have gone Tobacco/Smoke-Free like MSUB?

A wide variety of universities and colleges have gone tobacco-free and/or smoke-free. Some of the more well-known, residential institutions include: Indiana University, Miami University, University of Arkansas, Purdue University, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Boise State University, University of North Dakota, College of St. Mary's, University of Wisconsin, Winona State University, University of South Carolina, Oklahoma State University, University of Indianapolis, East Tennessee State University, and even Winston Salem State University.

What about Quitting aids like the Patch, Gum, or Lozenge — would those be allowed?

Yes, quitting aids, such as the patch, gum or lozenge (a.k.a. nicotine replacement therapy) would be allowed because they do not contain tobacco.

Why go tobacco-free? Why not just smoke-free?

There are several reasons for tobacco-free vs. smoke-free:

  • Tobacco-free eliminates loopholes that might be exposed by the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry has begun marketing products that are both smokeless and spitless (e.g. snus, tablets, lozenges, and lotions). They are desperately trying to gain back consumers as more and more communities go smoke/tobacco-free. Many of these products are targeted to young adults, and they would certainly love to descend on the campus to promote the tobacco items.
  • A smoking-only ban could inadvertently cause a rise in other tobacco usage. With no smoking on campus, students may become more aware of spit tobacco use, perceiving it as "acceptable" behavior. The message becomes, "Students here can use spit tobacco." Students should not perceive that any tobacco use on campus is acceptable.
  • A recent study in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, shows there is similar exposure to a tobacco-specific carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) in spit tobacco users and cigarette smokers (Hecht, et al—University of Minnesota).
  • Smokeless tobacco users are susceptible to various cancers and oral health problems. The spit tobacco also contains three to five times the amount of addictive nicotine as cigarettes.

Why hasn't the 30 foot rule been enforced?

Enforcement for a tobacco-free MSUB would look similar to other policies on campus. In that if a person is violating the policy they will be adjudicated through the appropriate office. Other schools that have gone tobacco-free report a high degree of compliancy through proper awareness, education, and well-executed implementation of the policy.

How will a tobacco-free policy be enforced?

Other tobacco-free institutions have reported that high compliance is the key to a successful tobacco-free policy. A detailed implementation and education plan is imperative to attaining high compliance. A compliance committee will address compliance details that may include: campus education of the policy change, signage, removal of cigarette disposal containers, promotion of cessation services, e-mail notifications of the policy change, enforcement for violators, etc.

What about the safety of students who choose to smoke off campus?

MSUB cannot restrict who goes off campus nor when students choose to go off campus. Each time a student leaves campus it is their personal choice. We believe safety is a concern for students both on and off campus and this is why campus safety monitors not only the general campus grounds but also areas around the perimeter of campus. Students who choose to go off campus to smoke would not be treated any differently than students who choose to go off campus to study, go out, etc.

Why not just enforce the current policy of 30 feet?

The current perimeter policy at MSUB does not address the risk of secondhand smoke exposure. Because there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, people who choose to smoke on campus negatively impact the health of all people around them. Outdoor levels of secondhand smoke are equally as harmful as indoor levels and even hurricane-force winds cannot eliminate the risk of secondhand smoke outside. Brief exposure to smoke, as you're walking into a building, can cause or exacerbate cancer, heart disease, asthma, allergies, and bronchitis.

Will our neighbors be impacted by a tobacco-free campus policy?

Campus departments will be involved in the Tobacco Taskforce related to the issue of how this impacts campus and potentially our neighbors. First, facilities services maintains campus grounds and already cleans the campus perimeter sidewalks and will continue to do so in the future. The university will continue to work with the community to minimize impact should this policy be adopted.

If the SHS offers cessation classes and resources — won't this problem will naturally go away?

Cessation resources are an important part of any tobacco-free movement, however offering cessation alone will not diminish secondhand smoke exposure on campus

Who doesn't want universities to go tobacco-free?

  • The tobacco industry (BIG Tobacco).
  • Big Tobacco hates tobacco restriction policies because it is one of two strategies that are proven to reduce tobacco. rates. The other is tobacco tax increases

Why not address other major health issues MSUB students face?

  • Secondhand smoke is an extremely important health issue because when people choose to smoke, they negatively impact the health of all people around them.
  • There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke — secondhand smoke kills.
  • Outdoor levels of secondhand smoke are equally as harmful as indoor levels.
  • Even brief exposure to smoke as you're walking into a building can cause or exacerbate heart disease, asthma, allergies, and bronchitis (not to mention the smell of smoke on clothes).
  • Hurricane-force winds could not eliminate the risk of secondhand outside.

FAQ: Secondhand Smoke

Is secondhand smoke outside really that big of a deal?

  • Yes. When people choose to smoke outside or inside, they are negatively impact the health of all people around them.
  • The Surgeon General's report specifies that tobacco use in any form, active or passive represents a significant health hazard to both smokers and non-smoker bystanders.
  • Outdoor levels of secondhand smoke are equally as harmful as indoor levels.
  • Even brief exposure to smoke as you're walking into a building can cause or exacerbate heart disease, asthma, allergies, and bronchitis (not to mention the smell of smoke on clothes).
  • There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke — secondhand smoke kills.
  • Hurricane-force winds could not eliminate the risk of secondhand outside.
  • Secondhand smoke is a Class-A carcinogen, meaning it is a substance that has been proven to cause cancer.
  • Secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals.
  • Secondhand smoke contains at least 69 chemicals known to cause cancer.
  • It contains at least 172 toxic substances, including three regulated outdoor air pollutants.
  • 50,000 non-smokers die each year due to involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke in the U.S. alone, including:
    • 3,000 lung cancer deaths in non-smokers
    • 69,000 cases of heart disease deaths in non-smokers
    • 25,000 new cases of asthma
  • Even occasional exposure can increase the incidence of coronary heart disease by 58%.

How many different chemicals does secondhand smoke contain?

There are 4,000 known chemicals in secondhand smoke, including an ammonia-based chemical that increases the rate of nicotine absorption in the body and 69 other chemicals known to cause chemicals.

Are outdoor levels of secondhand smoke as harmful as indoor levels?

Yes. Outdoor levels of secondhand smoke are just as harmful as indoor level — there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Does secondhand smoke cause cancer?

Yes. Secondhand smoke contains a Class-A carcinogen, meaning it is a substance known to cause cancer (just like first-hand smoke). Secondhand smoke can cause cancer in smokers and non-smoking bystanders.

How many non-smokers die due to involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke?

Each year, 50,000 non-smokers die from tobacco-related causes due to involuntarily exposure to secondhand smoke, including 3,000 that die of Lung Cancer and 69,000 that die from Heart Disease.

How many new cases of asthma are there each year due to involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke?

Each year, there are 25,000 new cases of asthma among non-smokers that are exposed to secondhand smoke.

How many cancer-causing chemicals does secondhand smoke contain?

Secondhand smoke contains 69 chemicals known to cause cancer. Tobacco smoke is a Class-A carcinogenic, which means that it is a substance that causes cancer (asbestos is another well-known Class-A carcinogenic). Some other chemicals in tobacco smoke include: tar (used on the streets), arsenic (poison), benzene (used to make gas and pesticides), and formaldehyde (used to preserve dead bodies).

How many MSUB students notice secondhand smoke on a daily basis on campus?

  • 64.5% of students report being exposed to secondhand smoke on campus.
  • due to secondhand smoke exposure.
  • 15% of MSUB students report that exposure to secondhand smoke causes them to have trouble breathing.

Are there immediate negative health effects of secondhand smoke exposure?

Yes. There are immediate negative effects on the cardiovascular system when exposed to secondhand smoke. Even brief exposure as you're walking into a building can cause negative health affects including breathing difficulties, eye irritation, headache, nausea, and asthma attacks.

FAQ: Quitting Tobacco & Health Effects

Are there resources on campus to help students quit tobacco?

Read about campus resources.

Why quit tobacco?

Learn more about why you should quit.

What happens when you quit tobacco?

Facts about what happens when you quit.

What are some tips for quitting and staying quit?

Read our list of tips.

Are there other resources to help me quit?

Read our list of resources.

How many non-smokers die due to involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke?

Each year, 50,000 non-smokers die from tobacco-related causes due to involuntarily exposure to secondhand smoke, including 3,000 that die of Lung Cancer and 69,000 that die from Heart Disease.

What are college student tobacco rates?

  • The 18-24 age population smoking rates are 28.2%.
  • This population has a higher rate of smoking than any other group.
  • 90% of adult smokers began smoking by age 18.

How many people die from tobacco-related causes?

  • Tobacco-related death is the most preventable cause of mortality in the United States.
  • Each year, over 400,000 people die in the U.S. from tobacco-related causes.
  • It is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
  • Tobacco use accounts for more annual deaths than suicide, murder, HIV/AIDS, alcohol use, illegal drug use and motor vehicle injuries combined.
  • 50,000 non-smokers die each year due to involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke in the U.S. alone, including:
    • 3,000 lung cancer deaths in non-smokers
    • 69,000 cases of heart disease deaths in non-smokers
    • 25,000 new cases of asthma

FAQ: Tobacco & the Environment

How long does it take for a cigarette butt to decompose?

It takes an average of 25 years for a cigarette butt to decompose.

Why do cigarette butts decompose so slowly?

Cigarette butts break down slowly because most of the filters are made of cellulose acetate, which is a very slow-degrading form of plastic. The fibers in cigarette filters resemble cotton but don't be fooled - they are plastic.

How much paper is used to produce cigarettes?

A cigarette-manufacturing machine uses four miles of paper per hour to roll and package cigarettes. So, in one eight-hour day, 32 miles of paper are used and in one 40-hour week, 160 miles of paper are used.

What is the impact on forests for producing tobacco?

The tobacco industry burns as much as one acre of forest for every acre of tobacco cured, using 12% of all the timber felled in the world. And on average, one tree is cut down for every 300 cigarettes (about a two-week supply for a pack-a-day smoker).

What are some impacts of the pesticides and other chemicals used during tobacco cultivation?

A great deal of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are used during tobacco cultivation. These chemicals have many impacts on the environment and on the tobacco workers, including tobacco farm workers being poisoned, chemicals seeping into the soil, polluted waterways and ecological systems, and livestock and food crops being poisoned.

What are some impacts of cigarettes butts on wild life?

Cigarette butts are washed into rivers, lakes and the ocean from city streets, through storm drains. Seabirds, animals and fish eat them by mistake. Their bodies have no way to digest the filters and they can die.

FAQ: The Tobacco Industry

What do I need to know about the tobacco industry?

  • When used as directed, their product kills
  • BIG Tobacco spends $41 million per day promoting their products.
  • The 18-24 age group is the youngest legal group BIG Tobacco can target
  • In response to smoke-free indoor regulations, BIG Tobacco has increase marketing its "smokeless" products by at least $1 million.
  • Ammonia-based compounds are used to increase absorption of nicotine in cigarettes
  • In recent years, Big Tobacco has increased nicotine in cigarettes by 11%
  • "Lights" and "Filters" do not decrease risk, this is just a feel-good tactic used to increase consumer use
  • BIG Tobacco made $12 billion in profits in 2007 alone
  • Position cigarettes in films which leads to an estimated 400,000 new adolescent smokers annually
  • Use social and psychological strategies to attract specific age and demographic groups
  • Design their "quit smoking" campaigns strategically to increase smoking
  • Quote from – R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company: Younger adult smokers have been the critical factor in the growth and decline of every major brand and company over the last 50 years. They will continue to be just as important to brands/companies in the future for two simple reasons: The renewal of the market stems almost entirely from 18-year-old smokers. No more than 5 percent of smokers start after age 24. [And] the brand loyalty of 18-year-old smokers far outweighs any tendency to switch with age… Brands/companies which fail to attract their fair share of younger adult smokers face an uphill battle. They must achieve net switching gains every year to merely hold share… Younger adult smokers are the only source of replacement smokers… If younger adults turn away from smoking, the industry must decline, just as a population which does not give birth will eventually dwindle.

FAQ: Tobacco-Free Movement History

What is the Tobacco-Free Movement?

Over the past 10 years, a major tobacco-free movement has been initiated in the United States. The tobacco-free movement is continuing to progress at the college-level. Montana Tech went tobacco-free July 1, 2010 and the University of Montana will go tobacco-free Fall 2011. Along with 10 other Montana colleges and universities, MSUB participates in the Montana Collegiate Tobacco Prevention Initiative (MCTPI), funded by the Montana Tobacco Use and Prevention Program. This initiative works to establish comprehensive tobacco-control programs on college campuses. Currently, over 257 colleges/universities are 100% indoor and outdoor tobacco-free.

What is the Master Settlement Agreement?

In 1998, the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was negotiated between the four largest tobacco companies and 46 states, including Montana. The MSA restricts tobacco advertising and allocates billions of tobacco dollars to support tobacco control and prevention initiatives. A major advertising restriction made it illegal for the tobacco industry to market to youth aged 17 and younger. This restriction is particularly important because it makes the college population the youngest legal group that the tobacco industry can target. Since the agreement went into effect, the tobacco industry has significantly increased marketing efforts directed towards college students, including an increase of almost one million dollars in smokeless tobacco marketing. The following quote is from an internal tobacco industry document:

Younger adult smokers have been the critical factor in the growth and decline of every major brand and company over the last 50 years. They will continue to be just as important to brands/companies in the future for two simple reasons: The renewal of the market stems almost entirely from 18-year-old smokers. No more than 5 percent of smokers start after age 24. [And] the brand loyalty of 18-year-old smokers far outweighs any tendency to switch with age… Brands/companies which fail to attract their fair share of younger adult smokers face an uphill battle. They must achieve net switching gains every year to merely hold share… Younger adult smokers are the only source of replacement smokers… If younger adults turn away from smoking, the industry must decline, just as a population which does not give birth will eventually dwindle. – R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

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