The University of Maryland School of Public Health has received a $20,000 grant from the American Cancer Society’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative to help strengthen the University of Maryland’s existing efforts to expand its campus-wide smoking ban.
The University’s ban, enacted in 2013, currently allows four designated smoking areas on campus and does not include language that explicitly restricts the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems, which have recently surged in popularity with teens and young adults.
“Anything we can do to reduce nicotine use among college students— and the entire community— is a good idea,” said Dr. Amelia Arria, professor of behavioral and community health, and principal investigator on the grant.
The grant will establish a Smoke-Free Campus Taskforce with representatives from the University Health Center, the School of Public Health, the University Senate, Residential Facilities and Public Health Action Through Civic Engagement, a student group. The task force will be responsible for educating and engaging students, faculty, staff and decision-makers.
The team is currently researching tobacco-free policies that have been successful on other campuses.
“You really have to look at it with a 360-degree view — from the perspective of traditional students to staff, faculty, contractors, neighbors and policymakers,” said Dr. Dushanka Kleinman, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, and an advisor on the project.
The task force had its first meeting on December 6 to review the existing policy and charge the committee with roles and responsibilities in early 2020. They aim to work with campus leaders to propose refinements to the existing policy by fall semester of next year.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on December 13