UTHSC To Become Smoke-Free Campus

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Beginning January 1, 2018, UTHSC will be a smoke-free campus. (Photo by Brandon Dill)

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is ringing in the new year by joining the more than 1,757 campuses across the country in becoming a smoke-free campus. Effective January 1, 2018, use of, advertising, sale, or free sampling of smoking products on university property, facilities, grounds, and controlled venues will be prohibited, effective 24 hours a day, year round.

“We understand the health consequences of smoking,” said Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer at UTHSC. “We believe this decision supports our other efforts to have a healthy environment for our students, faculty, and staff at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.”

The new policy will span 55-acres of the campus including sidewalks and parking lots adjacent to university buildings and property as outlined by the city of Memphis. In addition, smoking along with the use of e-cigarettes, will be prohibited in personal vehicles while on university property. UTHSC will comply with the Tennessee Non-Smokers Protection Act and other state laws to enforce this new wellness initiative.

As a green and clean environment training the future health care workforce, it is fitting that the university promote a healthy and safe work and educational environment. Visitors and patients will also benefit.

“It’s never too late to stop smoking,” said Marie Bredy, DNP, FNP, administrative director of University Health Services. “Second hand smoke exposure is just as detrimental as actually smoking so our overall UTHSC population will benefit greatly from the new policy.”

Faculty, staff and students will play a major role in making UTHSC, which will be one of 13 colleges and universities in the state designated a smoke-free campus by complying as well as encouraging compliance with the wellness initiative.

Because UTHSC is a research institution, smoking may be permitted under controlled circumstances for research purposes with prior approval from the dean or director of the facility where the research is conducted.

University Health Services (UHS) will offer cessation programs, support groups, and nicotine replacement therapy for those on campus who smoke.

“A number of health issues can be reversed by quitting at any age,” said Dr. Bredy. “Positive effects can be realized within minutes. At University Health Services we are looking forward to supporting those who are ready to take the journey towards quitting.”

For the full detailed policy, including a listing of prohibited products please visit: https://uthsc.policymedical.net/policymed/anonymous/docViewer?stoken=de47aa28-16aa-408b-9c96-cb04f232964f&dtoken=c378e770-a2ff-43f6-ac88-574bd4ceb01c