Washington University campuses are tobacco-free beginning July 1

All Washington University campuses are tobacco-free beginning Thursday, July 1.

Under the new university policy, smoking and tobacco use is prohibited on all university-owned and -managed properties. The School of Medicine has prohibited tobacco use on school property since 2007.

“This is an important milestone for the Washington University campus community,” says Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “The tobacco-free initiative helps the university provide a healthy, comfortable and productive environment for students, faculty and staff.”

“Tobacco use — including smoking and breathing secondhand smoke — constitute a significant health hazard,” says Alan I. Glass, MD, assistant vice chancellor and director of the Habif Health and Wellness Center. “The tobacco-free policy is an important campus health initiative, and the university is offering support to those affected in hopes of making the transition as easy as possible for our campus community.”

The university will continue to work with community members to support tobacco-cessation efforts.

For faculty and staff, the “Preparing to Quit” and “Freedom from Smoking” programs are available.

During the “Preparing to Quit” program, which is 40 minutes, experts will discuss the benefits of tobacco-cessation and what it takes to be successful in quitting. The “Preparing to Quit” class schedule will be posted wellnessconnection.wustl.edu. Check the website periodically for more information.

In the seven-week “Freedom From Smoking” program, participants can receive support and learn skills to permanently quit tobacco use. This program is free to benefits-eligible faculty and staff and is available to other members of the WUSTL community for $50. For more information, call 935-5990 or e-mail wellnessconnection@wustl.edu.

Mary Butkus

Facilities Planning and Management interns Jenelle Lovings (right) and Kendra Hibben, both graduate students in architecture, place tobacco-free policy decals on the door of Olin Library June 28.

Faculty and staff members enrolled in the “Freedom From Smoking” program will be able to purchase a six-week supply of smoking-cessation medication for $15 via a payroll deduction after the completion of the program’s third and seventh classes.

Students have access to tobacco-cessation services through their student health plan. Students can access the “Aetna Quit & Fit Tobacco Cessation” program by visiting quitandfit.com/aetna or aetnastudenthealth.com/wustl or calling “Quit & Fit” at 877-330-2746. Smoking-cessation medications will be made available at no cost for students covered by the Washington University student health insurance.

Betsy Foy, EdD, assistant director of Student Health Services, is available during the summer and throughout the school year to work with students who would like an individualized quitting plan, continued support in quitting, or nicotine-replacement medication.

Several organizations offer free online smoking-cessation programs for all, including the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking program at LungUSA.org; the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation’s EX Plan at BecomeAnEX.org; and QuitNet at QuitNet.com.

Students and employees also can call 1-800-QUITNOW or visit smokefree.gov for counseling and other information about quitting tobacco use.

Visit wustl.edu/tobaccofree for more information about tobacco-cessation options and the tobacco-free policy. Frequently asked questions and ready-to-download promotional materials also are available on the website.