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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Texas A&M: Grant from ASPPH and ACS to Establish Smoke and Tobacco-free Campus

The American Cancer Society (ASC) Tobacco Free-Generation Grant was established in 2016 and with support from the CVS Health Foundation, has provided grants of up to $20,000 to 97 U.S. post-secondary institutions to adopt 100 percent smoke & tobacco-free campus policies. Texas A&M became a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus Jan. 2020 and recently received a $20,000 grant.

“It was inspired by the ASPPH and American Cancer Society Tobacco Free-Generation Grant,” said Texas A&M’s Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Jay Maddock, and a professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. “The application came up through ASPPH and I brought it to our Flourish committee and said it was something we should apply for.”

The grant is being used to implement the new policy through signage, awareness campaigns, promotion of resources to help individuals quit smoking and establishing a Peers Against Tobacco chapter. Peers Against Tobacco is a peer-led initiative to eradicate tobacco use on college campuses across Texas, and the Texas A&M campus will be the 21st school to establish a chapter.

Students will offer courtesy cards to anybody they see smoking or vaping on campus, informing them of what the policy is and where they can get help quitting. The idea, at least in this first semester, is there is not going to be any strict enforcement.

“It is going to be an information campaign to say that it is against the policy of the university and here is some information and resources for you,” Dr. Maddock said.

The students will also be used to measure the effectiveness of the ban. Students will observe individuals throughout the campus, trying to count the number of people who are still using tobacco on campus. Those numbers will be evaluated at the end of the semester, and if necessary, Dr. Maddock and the committee will study future methods for enforcement.

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