UMich says goodbye to tobacco products, vapes from November 17
The University of Michigan announcement Monday that the existing ban on the use of tobacco products on UM’s three campuses will be expanded to include bans on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and smokeless tobacco products, effective November 17. The new policy will prohibit the use of ENDS and smokeless tobacco products in all university buildings, facilities, grounds and vehicles owned by the University. The new policy will be known as the Tobacco-Free University Accommodations Policy.
The ban comes with The Great American Smokeout, an annual event that takes place on the third Thursday of November. Since 1997the American Cancer Society used the Smokeout to encourage people to quit smoking. The use of tobacco products will still be permitted in private vehicles on campus and on public sidewalks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is the primary cause of preventable death and disability in the United States, and in 2019, 23% of Michigan high school youth reported currently using at least one tobacco product such as e-cigarettes. Twenty-five Michigan State colleges and universities have voluntarily adopted tobacco-free campus policies.
In a University record article, Robert Ernst, UM’s director of health, claimed that the smoking ban is intended to help students improve their mental and physical well-being.
“This update is a natural progression in our efforts to improve the overall well-being of our University community,” Ernst wrote. “Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, disease and disability in the United States. When we implemented our smoke-free policy in 2011, this new generation of products was not commonly used. But over the past decade, the sale of ENDS has more than doubled.
The CDC says seven out of 10 smokers want to quit, and has raised awareness of the consequences of smoking and second-hand smoke through a federally funded national tobacco education campaign. Advice from former smokers. Ernst said education and behavior change will also be central to the enforcement of the tobacco-free campus policy.
The new policy will further ban vapes, vape pens, e-cigarettes, e-cigars and hookah pens in addition to smokeless tobacco products, colloquially known as dip, chew and snuff. an annual study made by the University revealed that the use of vaping products for nicotine and marijuana double between 2017 and 2018 for college students. This increase is one of the largest proportional increases since the study of adult drug use began more than 40 years ago.
With the new policy in place, the University is adapting to help the campus community. UM employees, spouses, retirees, and other qualified adults who have a UM health plan may continue to visit the University Tobacco consultation service consult a specialist and select a free withdrawal program, or a program to help individuals stop using addictive drugs such as tobacco. UM health plan holders can receive up to six months of free nicotine replacement therapy medications at Michigan Medicine-approved pharmacies.
In the University Record article, Preeti Malani, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and special adviser to the president of UM, said adolescents and young adults are facing an epidemic of lung disease and hospitalizations from 2018 to 2020 despite education on the dangers. to consume tobacco products. According to the CDCthe use of tobacco products begins and becomes established during adolescence, and the flavoring of tobacco products can make the products appeal to younger audiences.
“Even though tobacco products have been revamped with different delivery systems, given new names and repackaged on social media, their harmful health effects remain,” Malani wrote. “Vaping is often marketed as a way to help people quit smoking, but nicotine is nicotine no matter how it’s delivered. Once you form a physical addiction, your body starts craving it.
Daily staff reporters Rachel Mintz and Riley Hodder can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected]
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