Meeting Campus Demands
Saint Xavier University's Tobacco-Free Campus Policy falls in line with the 2015 laws affecting all Illinois public institutions of higher education. This decision follows an initiative and survey by student government, dating back to 2014. That initiative was supported by a 2015 university task force, a subsequent report issued last February, and an employee survey in May of 2015 based on the task force report.
There is No Safe Level of Exposure to Secondhand Smoke!
In 2006, the Surgeon General released the most definitive study of secondhand smoke ever conducted. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General (PDF) is a 600+ page report providing clear evidence of the dangers of secondhand smoke. The report states:
- There is no safe level of secondhand smoke; breathing even a little secondhand smoke can be dangerous.
- Secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, 200 of which are poisons and 43 are carcinogens.
- Those who have heart disease and/or asthma are particularly susceptible to the effects of secondhand smoke exposure.
Creating a Clean, Healthy and Accessible Campus Environment
According to the 2006 Surgeon General's report, people who have heart disease, asthma and/or allergies are particularly susceptible to the effects of secondhand smoke; and according to the same report, children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to have lung problems, ear infections and severe asthma.
Save money on facilities and maintenance and improving campus aesthetic
Smoking on campus consumes valuable staff time picking up cigarette butts, emptying ashtrays, putting out fires in smoking receptacles and handling complaints about smoking on campus. Unlike having designated smoking areas, going tobacco-free does not move the problem, but eliminates it.
Reduce the risk of fires on campus
Cigarette butts can start fires in planting areas, trash receptacles and even cigarette receptacles. A tobacco-free campus eliminates the risk and associated costs and may decrease fire and property insurance.
Increases Work-Place Efficiency and Decreases Health Care Costs
Tobacco use in the workplace has been studied repeatedly and found to negatively affect productivity at work, increase the amount of sick leave used and increase health care and life insurance costs.
Increase work-place efficiency
Tobacco use in the workplace leads to an increase of used sick leave and less productive time at work.
- Employees who use tobacco are more likely to use three times more sick leave than their non-tobacco using co-workers. (US Office of Technology and Assessment)
- Tobacco use while at work results in an average of one month per year of unproductive time at work.
- Over half of productivity costs are due to unproductive time at work. (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2006)
Decrease health care and life insurance costs
- Health care costs for smokers are 40% higher than non-smokers. (New England Journal of Medicine, 1998)
- Life insurance costs for tobacco users are higher.
Did You Know?
New dissolvable tobacco products designed by the tobacco companies encourage continuation of addiction rather than quitting. Some examples of new products are: orbs (breath mint size dissolvable tobacco), sticks (toothpick-like dissolvable tobacco) and strips (breath-strip like dissolvable tobacco). Dissolvable tobacco products are shown to have three times the amount of nicotine as is present in a cigarette. Use of these products could potentially lead to a stronger addiction to nicotine making quitting even more difficult. Tobacco products are not currently regulated by the FDA. These products are being test marketed in certain areas and are directly marketed to 18-24 year olds.