REMINDER: Arizona Health Sciences Center Campus is Tobacco-Free

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REMINDER: Arizona Health Sciences Center Campus is Tobacco-Free

From:

AHSC Human Resources

Subject: REMINDER: Arizona Health Sciences Center Campus is Tobacco-Free

Date: October 22, 2013

This memo serves as a reminder that the entire Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) Tucson campus, which includes The University of Arizona Health Network, is tobacco-free. The AHSC policy went into effect July 30 for all students, faculty, staff and visitors. UAHN imposed a similar tobacco ban in January 2012.

The ban affects the 45-acre Arizona Health Sciences Center’s Tucson campus, which is home to the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson; UA College of Nursing; UA College of Pharmacy; and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and The University of Arizona Health Network, the clinical enterprise at AHSC.

Under the new policy, which went through the UA Shared Governance Review Committee process, the use of tobacco products is prohibited both indoors and outdoors at the AHSC colleges and affiliated buildings and property. Existing smoking areas and ashtrays will be removed. Individuals found using such products will be notified about the policy and should be reported to the administrator responsible for the area in which the violation occurs, according to the policy. Signage went up on Monday, Oct. 21.

The AHSC tobacco-free policy is consistent with a national trend among health sciences campuses and hospitals to ban the use of tobacco products in all indoor and outdoor public spaces. The new policy stipulates that the use of any tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless or chewing tobacco and other products containing tobacco, are prohibited on any AHSC property. Users still will be able to smoke or use tobacco in their personal vehicles.

“The tobacco-free policy helps create a healthier campus environment for our students, staff, faculty and visitors,” said Joe G. N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences. In addition to eliminating health hazards associated with second-hand smoke, the new policy will create a more supportive environment for those seeking to quit tobacco use. The American Lung Association reports that nationwide 422 colleges and universities prohibit smoking and all forms of tobacco use everywhere on campus and provide no designated smoking areas. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, studies have shown that workplace tobacco-free policies can reduce the amount of daily smoking among workers and increase the number of employees who are able to stop smoking. 

Faculty and staff members are encouraged to contact their insurance providers to get more information on programs to help stop smoking or using other tobacco products. For UA faculty and staff, a medication benefit is included with their health insurance that includes comprehensive medication coverage and behavioral counseling.

In addition, the Arizona Smokers' Helpline (ASHLine), 1-800-55-66-222, provides free counseling and web-based quit services in English and Spanish. ASHLine is one of the leading tobacco-cessation resources in the nation, and is part of the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Details about the tobacco use ban may be found at: http://policy.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/Tobacco-free_AHSC.pdf or by contacting Pamela M. Jones, interim director, AHSC Human Resources, 520-626-2600.

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