UK Commemorates Tobacco Ban Anniversary

Nov 14, 2011

The University of Kentucky is celebrating the second anniversary of becoming a Tobacco-Free campus. Monday in the Student Center members of the Tobacco-free Campus Initiative Task Force provided an update on some of the impact that the policy has had on the school. Audrey Darville, is a tobacco treatment specialist with UK Healthcare.

"We have had a four-fold increase in the number of people using tobacco treatment services since the tobacco-free effort started. We have also found that the on-campus sales of nicotine replacement products have almost doubled. So while people are here, they are using nicotine replacement products to help them not smoke while they are on the campus."

Task-force co-chair Ellen Hahn says enforcement remains largely complaint-driven.

"Typically the first thing I say is you know, we have nicotine replacement on campus so there's no reason for you to feel like you have to smoke while you are here on our campus. The whole attitude is a positive one. It's a very helpful one. It's a kind one. It's to re-direct people to where they can go to get help."

Don Helme, with the UK Department of Communication, says a survey of more than 600 students shows a change in attitude toward smoking on campus.

"Of the individuals we surveyed both before and after, there was a significant change after the implementation of the policy. It had an effect on some of what we call these norms, these personal expectations of what I feel is correct or right behavior. And after the implementation of the policy, significantly more individuals felt that it is not OK to smoke on campus."

The university has scheduled a week-long series of events to commemorate the tobacco-free designation. Thursday is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smoke Out.