Last Thursday was the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, and I am proud that this year we celebrated the day at Illinois - and for the first time as an act of the campus administration. However, student and community groups have long been participating in the event and it was from their actions that our new campus smoke-free policy was born. We hope that it was an encouragement to quit for smokers in the Illinois family.
The Illinois Great American Smokeout was a day that smokers could use as a trial quit day, a day to plan to quit, a day to learn about quitting or as a day to quit for good. We provided extra resources on Thursday including four smoke-free stations located across campus. Faculty, staff and students picked up quit kits, talked with cessation experts, and learned about the upcoming smoke-free policy.
In order to promote a healthy living, learning, and working environment, the campus will become smoke-free beginning January 1, 2014. The new policy will apply to everyone – students, faculty, staff and visitors. It will include all forms of burning tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, cigarillos. It will ban smoking on all campus-owned property – indoors and outdoors, as well as the use of e-cigarettes on campus-owned property and smoking in private vehicles parked on campus-owned property.
The decision to become smoke-free was made in October 2012, for many reasons. Establishing a smoke-free campus policy will protect our campus community from unwanted exposure to tobacco and passive smoke. It will also create a supportive environment for those who are trying to quit. In addition, it will create a cleaner campus. Cigarette butts are the most common type of litter – removing them will beautify the campus, protect the environment and reduce clean-up costs. A full explanation and a list of FAQs can be found on the Smoke-Free Campus website.
We are hoping to make this transition as smooth as possible. While last week we devoted a specific day towards the effort, the campus will continue offering a variety of tobacco-cessation programs through McKinley Health Center and the UI Wellness Center. In addition, nicotine-replacement products will be sold at many campus locations, including the Illini Union, State Farm Center, the Activities and Recreation Center, Campus Recreation East, the Ice Arena and some residence facilities after January 1.
Of course, we respect everyone’s personal decision to choose what is best for them. We simply hope that these new initiatives will be a valuable incentive for those who do want to quit their tobacco use.
Around the Campus
Champaign-Urbana has been named by Business Insider as one of the top 10 college towns in the country. Read the full report here.
Congratulations to the Prairie Research Institute on having Nov. 22, 2013 proclaimed by Governor Pat Quinn as Prairie Research Institute Day.
Congratulations to John Rogers on winning a 2013 American Ingenuity Award by Smithsonian Magazine. The awards “recognize nine shining achievements from the past year or so that are having a revolutionary effect on how we perceive the world and how we live,” writes Michael Caruso, the editor-in-chief of Smithsonian. Read the full story here.
Congratulations to Marc Snir who has received the 2013 IEEE Computer Society Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award. Read the full story here.
Congratulations to the four Illinois faculty members who have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Stephen A. Boppart, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Kanti Jain and William P. King are among 388 honorees recognized for their “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.” Read the full story here.