Monday, October 19, 2009

American College Health Association Statement On Tobacco

Released September 2009

The American College Health Association (ACHA) acknowledges and supports the findings of the Surgeon General that tobacco use in any form, active and/or passive, is a significant health hazard. ACHA further recognizes that environmental tobacco smoke has been classified as a Class-A carcinogen and that there is no safe level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), a recognized toxic air contaminant. In light of these health risks, ACHA has adopted a NO TOBACCO USE policy and encourages colleges and universities to be diligent in their efforts to achieve a 100% indoor and outdoor campus-wide tobacco-free environment.

For the full PDF document, please e-mail for an electronic copy.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Landmark Report Confirms Smokefree Laws Prevent Heart Attacks

BERKELEY, CA - A major report released today by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concludes that smokefree laws reduce heart attacks. After one year of thorough and rigorous review by experts in public health and cardiovascular disease, this report, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence, affirms studies from around the world which reported dramatic reductions (ranging from 6%-47%) in heart attacks once smokefree laws are in place.

Secondhand smoke exposure alone is estimated to cause between 38,100 and 128,900 heart attacks each year ("Coronary heart disease attributable to passive smoking: CHD policy model," American Journal of Preventive Medicine 36(1): 13-20, January 2009).

"This report confirms the research from around the world on the immediate and powerful impact of strong, 100% smokefree regulations. Bottom line: Smokefree laws save lives - not in the distant future, but within the first year of enactment," said Cynthia Hallett, Executive Director of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, "There are no more excuses for leaving any workers behind. It's time to close the gaps in smokefree protections because all workers deserve protection from toxic secondhand smoke."

The Study that Sparked the Discussion
The first study to find dramatic declines in heart attack rates was conducted in Helena, Montana. Study authors, Dr. Richard Sargent and Dr. Robert Shepard measured numbers of heart attacks before and after a local smokefree workplace law took effect. Helena's smokefree law was put in place for several months, and then suspended. This gave the doctors an opportunity to measure heart attack rates before the law took effect, while workplaces were smokefree, and then, when workplaces were again filled with smoke. What they found sent a shockwave through the medical community.

In Helena, heart attack rates dropped by 40% while the smokefree law was in place, but increased again once smoking was allowed back in workplaces. The study gained worldwide attention and results were replicated in cities and states worldwide. Based on the results from the Helena study and others, the Centers for Disease Control issued a warning that people at risk of heart disease should avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

The Protected vs. the Unprotected
While 19 states have strong smokefree laws covering all workplaces, including restaurants, bars and casinos, nearly 59% of the US population still remains unprotected by a law covering all these venues.

Additional states have laws in place that do only half the job, and leave certain workers exposed and at risk. Nevada's law, for example, exempts casino floors which leaves casino workers exposed to some of the highest reported levels of secondhand smoke. "Why are casino workers left out of the law?" asks Terrie Price, a former Vegas casino worker fired from her job after complaining about the smoke. "Casino workers deserve smokefree air too. The air in casinos is toxic and now we know it's leading to heart attacks. It makes no sense to put casino workers and gamblers at such high risk", Price added.

The IOM study released today reaffirms that 360 cities and 19 states have already done the right thing by passing strong laws to make all workplaces and public places 100% smokefree. Eliminating secondhand smoke exposure not only reduces heart attacks, but leads to reduced risks of asthma, other lung disease, and cancers. According to Hallett, "Passing a smokefree law with no exemptions may be the single greatest way to prevent heart attacks and improve health. What are you waiting for?"

Click here to go to the original posting

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Four Presidential Candidates' Stance On Smoke-Free Campus

Each of the four Presidential Candidates met with students during the student forum. The students came up with 17 questions to ask each of them. One of the questions were:
More and more public and private universities are now going smoke-free to protect the health of it's more vulnerable employees, students and visitors. Do you support the transition of Gallaudet from a smoking campus to a smoke-free campus?
Since the entire forum was in American Sign Language, the students e-mailed SFG committee their answers in print English.

Dr. Stephen F. Weiner
Provost, Gallaudet University

Campus Visit: September 16-17

Student: "He would love that for Gallaudet however he will need to do his own research since it is part of business corporation (where we get cigarattes from) which makes it harder because he says people do have their rights to smoke on the campus."

Dr. Roslyn Rosen
Director, National Center on Deafness at California State University, Northridge
Campus Visit: September 21-22

Student: "She started to lecture us about not starting to smoke (she was a former smoker herself). She said she would check up on this if she enters in office."

Dr. Ronald J. Stern
Superintendent/Chief Executive Officer, New Mexico School for the Deaf
Campus Visit: September 23-24

Student: "Stern talked about how his wife was allergic to smoke so he is in favor of a smoke-free campus but would need to check what needs to be done first such as setting up areas, etc, but seemed supportive."

Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz
President, National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)
Vice President/Dean of Rochester Institute of Technology for NTID

Campus Visit: September 30-October 1

Student: "Hurwitz was more supportive, and asked the audience to raise their hands if they were in favor of a smoke-free campus. A lot of students raised their hands and Hurwitz said, 'There goes your answer.'"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Student Congress Motion Passed... Again!

The undergraduate students representing various student organizations on campus passed a motion in Student Congress supporting a 100% smoke-free campus in March, with 23 for, 1 against.

That bill was vetoed by the Student Body Government president because he felt that a student forum on campus smoking was needed before he could pass/veto the bill.  The forum was hosted in April, and the SBG president decided, based on the input of the students, that instead of making the campus 100% smoke-free, there should be several designated areas with "reasonable accommodations" (e.g. shelter, gazebo) to protect the smokers from rain and wind.  

A new motion was created including the input from the SBG president and the community, to support a smoke-free campus with designated areas and reasonable accommodations, and this motion was passed again with 15 votes for, 1 against, and 2 abstained from voting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Survey Results: 93% Support a Smoke-Free Campus

(Click on images to enlarge)

If you would like me to calculate specific combinations and post results here, please feel free to ask by commenting below. For example, you can ask: How many Virginians smoke? How many undergraduates support a 100% smoke-free campus?

We also have over 250 comments from the survey respondents. If you are interested in reading them, please e-mail one of the committee members or the students in the GSR 231, Back to Nature course (names listed on right sidebar of this blog).

Survey Questions

(Click on images to enlarge)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Smoking and The Gallaudet Community

If you are a student, faculty, staff, parent or a visitor at Gallaudet:

Do you want to help shape the future cigarette smoking policy at Gallaudet?  The students of GSR 231 would like for you to complete an anonymous online survey about cigarette smoking on the Gallaudet campus.  This survey will take you 10 minutes or less.  Please consider participating to help determine the future of smoking cigarettes at Gallaudet.  Please click here to go to the online survey.  Thank you!

If you prefer to fill out a paper survey, booths with paper surveys will be distributed during lunch hour at Marketplace and the Cafeteria until April 24th.  

Results will be shared with the Campus Community Monday April 27th, noon at G-Area in the SAC building.

This survey is approved by the Gallaudet Institutional Review Board (IRB). 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Faculty Senate Passes Smoke-Free Motion Unanimously!

The last cohort on campus, the Faculty Senate passed the smoke-free campus motion with an unanimous vote of 12 - 0 as of this evening.
Recap of all votes:
Faculty Senate:  12-0
Graduate Student Association:  9 -0
Staff Academic Council: 8-1
Student Congress (undergraduates):  23 - 1
The next step:  Be on the look out for an IRB-approved survey about the future of the smoking policy at Gallaudet -

Presentation by GSR 231 students about the results of this survey on 
Monday, April 27th, 
at G-Area in SAC.  
See you there!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Graduate Student Association supports Smoke-Free Campus

More great news!  Today, we received word from the Graduate Student Association reporting that graduate students from the following nine departments:
Administration and Supervision,
Educational Foundations and Research,
Hearing, Speech & Language Sciences,
Psychology, and
Social Work
support that Gallaudet University should begin the transition from a smoking campus to a smoke-free campus as soon as practicable!  

(Note:  There are a total of eleven graduate departments.  The Department of ASL & Deaf Studies did not submit their votes by the deadline.  And the Department of Physical Education & Recreation does not have a GSA representative to gather votes for this motion).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Staff Academic Council supports Smoke-Free Campus

Great news!  Today, the Staff Academic Council (representing the Gallaudet and Clerc Campuses) voted on and passed the following motion with a 8 to 1 vote!
We, members of the Staff Academic Council, move to have Gallaudet join with other universities involved in the DC Tobacco Free Campus consortium (DCTFC) to support the transition of Gallaudet University from being a smoking campus to becoming a 100% smoke-free campus (excluding the Kellogg Conference Hotel).
The faculty senate meeting ran out of time, so our motion was moved to this coming Monday 4/13/09.  Think smoke-free thoughts!  

Monday, March 23, 2009

Gallaudet's Current Smoking Policy

Gallaudet University is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable, and productive work environment for faculty, teachers, staff, students, and guests. Reaching and maintaining this goal requires the understanding and patience of all members of the campus community.

Smoking is not permitted in any University or Clerc Center building or in any University owned vehicle. Smoking is permitted on the campus grounds in areas designated as smoking permitted and where receptacles are placed. There are no smoking breaks. At all times, the right of the non-smoker to protect his/her health and comfort takes precedence over another person's right to smoke.

Violations of this policy by employees should be reported to the appropriate unit administrator. Violations of this policy by students should be reported to the appropriate student life administrator.

For the full document, click here to go to the Administrations & Operations Manual Section 1.07 on Smoking

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kick 'Butts' Day - March 25th

Gallaudet's very own Peer Health Advocates invites you to celebrate Kick Butts Day with them on Wednesday, March 25. On this day, help empower each other to stand out, speak up, and seize control against Big Tobacco with fun, educational activities and events.

The Kick Butts Day celebration will be held at the JSAC G-Area, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. It's time to kick those cigarette butts out!


Health & Wellness Programs (HWP) at Gallaudet also hosts the Great American Smoke-out every year in November.  In January, HWP provided New Year's Resolutions that included information on smoking. In the past, HWP has done workshops about cancer and smoking.  Interested in having one on campus?  Click here to get in touch with the HWP/PHAs!

Gallaudet University Student Health Services

Gallaudet's medical center provides medical care, health awareness and preventive medicine and also has adopted a smoke-free Gallaudet mission.  The below section is copied from their official page, click here to visit their full page.

The mission of Smoke-Free at Gallaudet is to encourage a positive health environment for everyone. We will strive to achieve this mission by:
  • Convincing members of the university community that tobacco poses a serious health hazard for both smokers and non-smokers.
  • Preventing future generations of Gallaudet University students, faculty, and staff from becoming addicted to nicotine.
  • Helping current smokers who have decided to quit, and giving them the tools to enable them to stop smoking.
  • Throughout the year, the Student Health Service holds various smoke-free awareness events. 
The following items are available at these events or at the Student Health Service:
  • Pamphlets
  • Quit kits
  • Fact sheets
  • Promotional items designed to help smokers quit
Click here to go to the full link:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dangers of Third-Hand Smoke

(Click on photo to enlarge)

2/25 DC Tobacco Free Campuses Meeting Summary

Good Afternoon DCTFC,

I am pleased to report that yesterday’s meeting was a very productive as we continue to make great strides toward going tobacco free campus together. Thank you to Georgetown University for hosting us. Yesterday, we welcomed our newest members to the consortium, Gallaudet University, whose members provided great information regarding their efforts to become a tobacco free campus. The Smokefree Gallaudet team has put together an impressive site, The website includes the latest news in tobacco use on campus, minutes from the DCTFC meetings, a PowerPoint presentation, letters to administrators, student polls, recent studies, and much more! If you haven’t already, you should definitely check it out. It would be great if each college could have a blogsite for this initiative in the near future. Gallaudet has also secured the support of the Student Congress for a tobacco free campus policy and will now move on to the Faculty Senate!

During the meeting, we reviewed a draft of the petition language and decided this tool would be most useful when approaching student and faculty congress. We also decided to use Campuses for Clean Air’s idea to implement a postcard campaign on each campus that will include talking points and facts that will encourage support of a tobacco free campus policy.

*We also decided to change the DCTFC logo at least until we get the full support from our administrators.

The following action steps were identified and agreed upon by the meeting attendees:
  • Each school must find out what the protocol is for using petitions on campus and whether a student’s ID# is required in addition to their signature
  • Identify potential talking points to include on the post card (please bring 3-4 ideas)
  • Bring ideas for the Tobacco Free Campus Consortium logo and name. One idea was to name the group “Campuses for Clean Air – Tobacco Free Inside and Out”)
  • Create a timeline for going tobacco free campus – list ideas for activities, etc. to help change the social norm on campus
  • Create a “pyramid” that includes the key groups and individuals (from most important to least) whose support is necessary in order to become a tobacco free campus.
  • GW (Campuses for Clean Air) will email a copy of their postcard and talking points to ALADC.
  • ALADC will set up a list-serv for the entire consortium to contact one another.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th at 6:00pm. Location is TBD. As promised, I am attaching a copy of The Link, which includes the article on Thirdhand Smoke (posted on this site). For more information on thirdhand smoke, logon to

As always, we appreciate your commitment to your students and residents of the District of Columbia. If you have any questions, please contact me or Debra Annand at 202-546-5864.

Warmest Regards,

Shawntay Warren
Communications Manager
American Lung Association of D.C.
530 7th Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
Phone: 202-546-5864
Mobile: 202-441-1537

Campuses for Clean Air

Many thanks to George Washington University for sharing this postcard with all of us!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Student Congress Motion PASSED!

The motion with Student Congress at Gallaudet University passed tonight (2/18/09), thanks to Green Gallaudet representative Rachel Blake!

The motion was:
"We, members of the Green Gallaudet organization, move to join with other universities involved in the DC Tobacco Free Campus consortium (DCTFC) to support the transition of Gallaudet University from being a smoking campus to becoming a 100% smoke-free campus (excluding the Kellogg Conference Hotel)."
Now, onward to the faculty senate....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Smokers Have The Right To Smoke?

If you have any doubt about the importance of eliminating smoke from the air you breathe day in, day out, consider these cold, hard facts:
  • Smoking kills more Americans every year than alcohol, illegal drugs, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire, and AIDS combined.
  • Tobacco use accounts for 1 out of every 5 deaths
  • 50% of chronic tobacco users will suffer death or disability due to tobacco
  • 85% of lung cancers – the leading cause of cancer death for men and women – are due to tobacco use
  • One-third of all cancer deaths are due to tobacco.
  • Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society.

Smoke-free College Trend Growing - CNN

By Judy Fortin - November 11, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Georgia (CNN) -- When 19-year-old Reid Overton wants to smoke a cigarette on his college campus, he has to walk to a distant parking lot and get into his car, but he doesn't seem to mind. "Even as a smoker, I don't like to walk past a cloud of smoke," he says.

Overton is one of 5,300 students at Gainesville State College, an hour north of Atlanta, Georgia. A 4-year-old ban prohibits anyone from using tobacco products on campus, including students, faculty and visitors.

A smoke-free campus was the brainchild of longtime college president Martha Nesbitt, herself a former smoker. "It's just a healthier place to be," says Nesbitt, "because as you go in a building, you're not going to have to go through smoke. When you walk out, you don't see cigarette butts littered around. It's just a cleaner, healthier campus."

Nesbitt reports there haven't been any problems enforcing the ban. Signs are posted around campus, and the policy is prominently displayed on everything from the school Web site to admissions applications.

The American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation reports nearly 60 college campuses around the United States have smoke-free policies that affect the entire campus.

Other schools have limited restrictions, banning smoking indoors in residential housing and student facilities. Nesbitt believes her college is one of the first to fully prohibit the use of tobacco products. Watch more on efforts to curb smoking on campus »

The American Cancer Society says the movement is catching on. "The trend toward a smoke-free country is going on everywhere," says Daniel Smith, president of the American Cancer Society Action Network. "I think college campuses are simply reflecting the same trend we're seeing in society."

For the rest of the article, click here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

How Others Handled Enforcement of Smoke-Free Campuses

From: Ackerman, Judy (Vice President and Provost, Rockville Campus & Montgomery College)
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 11:12 PM
To: Shawntay Warren (American Lung Association DC chapter coordinator)
Subject: RE: DC Tobacco Free Campus Consortium

Hi Shawntay. Glad to hear that the consortium is continuing to discuss action steps. With regard to enforcement, we initially thought that all three campuses would use temporary, healthy campus advocates to walk around and inform the campus community about the policy and then to "write up" those who they saw smoking after the first couple of weeks of the semester. In reality, just the Rockville campus with a campus population of 16,000 used them. There was only one employee who they saw smoking and reported. Employee reports go to their supervisor who is expected to follow employee disciplinary protocols of meeting with the employee and giving an oral warning. If the behavior continues there is a written reprimand, suspection and even termination. After the dean spoke with this person and let the person know that discipline could lead to termination, the person said it wouldn't happen again. No one has seen the person smoking in the open. Students are reported to the dean of student development who follows the Student Code of Conduct for disciplinary problems. There is community service on the campus including clean-ups for the first infraction. More stringent consequences for subsequent violations. About 100 students were cited on our campus. You may want to speak with Dean Monica Brown or Associate Dean Helen Brewer for more specifics.

We are spending our time dealing with our neighbors on the other side of an open fence. Eight neighbors came to speak during comments at our Board of Trustee meeting last week. Most want a closed fence. We want a fence but have to work through some issues with the City of Rockville. We have been telling people that if they wish to smoke they need to go to sidewalks off campus, outside of the residential areas around the campus (2 sides of the campus).

Even as we deal with the students who go into the neighborhood to smoke and engage in disturbing behaviors, we hear from faculty, staff and students about those who have quit or cut back on their smoking. It's important to keep a vision of the goal. Someday this will be a non
issue for all of us when society catches up.

Judy E. Ackerman, Ph.D.
Vice President and Provost
Rockville Campus
Montgomery College
51 Mannakee Street
Rockville, MD 20850
240.567.1741 FAX

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

DC TFC WorkPlan

(click on images to enlarge)

DC Tobacco-Free Campus (DCTFC) Meeting

Good Afternoon DCTFC,

I would like to thank you all for attending last night’s meeting. We accomplished a lot as we put together our strategy to go tobacco free campus. I especially want to thank Jean Toth of Catholic University for providing that wonderful meeting space. As promised, I have attached a copy of the workplan we discussed yesterday, which includes the action steps that were developed at the meeting. I included additional spaces on the workplan for you to fill in additional steps. Please be prepared to share any updates with the group at the next meeting.

I am also sending the list of churches that are a part of the DC Tobacco Free Holy Grounds (DCTFHG) initiative. Along with that, I have attached the summary of the initiative for your perusal. Feel free to send to the members of the churches we discussed yesterday. For many of you, having those churches join DCTFHG will make it much easier to get your campus to go tobacco free. The contact information for Bishop Wallace, who is the lead on that initiative, can be found in the document. In the coming weeks, I will develop a template letter and petition document for each of you to tailor according to the needs of your campuses, but I strongly urge you all to begin working on some of those other actions steps prior to our next meeting.

The next DCTFC consortium meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 25th at Georgetown University from 3:30-5pm. Following this email, I will send you an Outlook invitation so it will be saved to your calendars. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or Debra Annand any time. Debra’s email address is Again, thank you for your time and commitment. See you all next month!


Shawntay Warren
Communications Coordinator
American Lung Association of D.C.
DC Tobacco Free Families Campaign
530 7th Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
Phone: 202-546-5864
Mobile: 202-441-1537

Meeting with American Lung Association

Meeting with American Lung Association, January 23, 2009

Coordinating the meeting: Gwendolyn Francavillo, Health and Wellness Coordinator
Shawntay Warren, Communications Coordinator, American Lung Association of DC
Gary Aller, Executive Director, Business Operations
Raychelle Harris, Faculty, Department of Interpretation
Raylene Paludneviciene, Faculty, Department of Psychology

Shawntay brought us up to speed about her initiative in connecting all DC colleges and universities and to make the transition to a smoke-free campus simultaneously. The rationale behind this is the number one concern of nearly all college administrators is the potentially negative impact on enrollment. Having all campuses in one same location turn 100% smoke-free would possibly negate the enrollment concern of many administrators. In her experience working with other colleges and universities, Shawntay reassured us that enrollment is never impacted, in fact, many parents find sending their child to a smoke-free university a nice bonus. Students choose colleges & universities based on what they provide, not whether if they are smoke-free or not. Regardless, a consortium of DC colleges & universities was established in December 2008. Gallaudet was unable to send a representative then, but hopes to do so at the next meeting of DC Tobacco-Free Campus consortium (DCTFC) on February 25th.

Shawntay shared one constant strategy of successful smoke-free campus movements is the power of students. Garner support through students first, then faculty then staff then ultimately address the administration.

Some of the things discussed during the meeting:
  1. Having data/stats to back up our movement (e.g. % of students, faculty and staff in support of this movement, % of who actually smoke, % who would want free smoking cessation support/programs, etc.)
  2. Getting DC Youth Environment Alliance on board:
  3. Finding a staff representative
  4. Service Learning opportunity for GSR courses
  5. Green Gallaudet student organization being responsible for making a proposal for Student Congress passage on making Gallaudet 100% smoke-free.
  6. Then making a similar proposal at the University Faculty Senate.