tobacco-smoking-cessation

The University of New Mexico is committed to wellness, prevention, and providing a healthy environment in which to learn, work, and visit. For these reasons by the Fall of 2017 smoking and other tobacco use (including e-cigarettes) will be further restricted on campus and relegated to a few remaining designated smoking areas.  The hope and expectation is that eventually UNM will eliminate all of the designated smoking areas.

“Smoking and tobacco use are known health hazards, not only to smokers but also to passersby and others who are subjected to secondhand smoke,” said Pamina Deutsch, director of UNM Policy Office. “Smoking and tobacco use diminish the beauty of UNM’s campuses and increase maintenance costs by requiring the regular removal of butt litter and other smoking and tobacco debris.”

The Campus Office of Substance Abuse, or COSAP, soon will train a group of UNM students to inform people of the designated areas.

“Our first approach will be to employ trained student ‘ambassadors’ to speak directly to people they encounter on campus,” said John Steiner COSAP program manager.

Currently, there are designated outdoor smoking areas available on main campus, and at the Health Science Center and the University Hospital. Also, the Gallup and Valencia branch campuses have a few designated areas.

All but four of the designated smoking areas will be eliminated on main campus and the Health Sciences Center by the start of the Fall 2017 semester.  The start date of the semester is Aug. 21, 2017.

Two designated smoking areas will remain on main campus by the residence halls in order to accommodate students who live on campus, and two will remain at University Hospital, which are required under a collective bargaining agreement.

“The strategy will be to offer education about the policy and the health effects of tobacco,” said Steiner. “If certain tobacco users remain resistant to compliance, they can be cited by the UNM police as a violation of UNM Policy and/or as a violation under the student code of conduct. Fines starting at $100 could be the result of such violations of policy.”

For more information about the initiative, visit: Countdown to a smoke- and tobacco-free campus.  For free assistance in quitting smoking and other tobacco use, call 1-800-QUITNOW or visit QUITNOW.