Health Center Receives Grant to Refresh IU’s Tobacco-Free Policy

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Indiana University Health Center was awarded a $20,000 grant as part of the American Cancer Society and the CVS Health Foundation’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative (TFGCI), a $3.6 million multi-year program intended to accelerate and expand the adoption and implementation of 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies.

Over the next three years, colleges and universities throughout the U.S. will be awarded TFGCI grants to support their efforts to advocate for, adopt and implement a 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy. Campuses will also receive technical assistance and resources to support their efforts with education, communications, cessation and evaluation. Indiana University is one of the first 20 colleges and universities to receive a TFGCI grant and will move forward with a new “Refresh IU” tobacco-free initiative.

“We are so honored to be one of the first universities to receive this pioneering grant. With this grant and our new Refresh IU campaign, we look forward to continuing to enable our tobacco prevention team to promote a strong 100 percent tobacco-free policy on campus,” said Cathy Wyatt, Assistant Director of Disease Prevention Programs. “Building on the work we’ve done over the past eight years, we will strive to protect the health and wellness of our faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Creating a healthier and cleaner campus environment continues to be a very high priority.”

TFGCI grants are intended to address a critical, unmet need by helping colleges and universities achieve 100% smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies. The U.S. Department of Education reports there are approximately 4,700 institutions of higher education in the United States. According to the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights Foundation, only 1,427 college campuses are 100 percent smoke- and tobacco- free. That reflects major progress over earlier years, but much remains to be done.

According to a new Morning Consult poll of 2,202 registered voters, commissioned by CVS Health on October 12-18, 2016, there is strong public support for addressing the continued impact of tobacco use on college and university campuses. Among the key poll findings:

  • More than half of Americans (56%) think the number of tobacco-free campuses is too low. This is similar among U.S. college students where the combined percentage is 54 percent.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of Americans support policies that prohibit smoking and other tobacco use on college campuses.
  • Fifty-two percent of Americans think whether or not a campus is tobacco-free is an important consideration when applying to, and potentially attending, a college/university, ranking behind academic quality (86%) and quality of housing (79%), but ahead of how competitive athletic teams are (38%).

“Through support from the CVS Health Foundation, we are excited to advance the efforts of many dedicated students, faculty and staff to make their campuses 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free using proven strategies that will also reduce tobacco use among students,” said Cliff Douglas, vice president for tobacco control and director of the American Cancer Society’s Center for Tobacco Control. “To be successful in creating a tobacco-free generation, it is important that we prevent and eliminate lethal and addictive tobacco use among America’s college students.”

This TFCGI grant announcement coincides with the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 17, an intervention effort to encourage smokers to quit for a day, quit for good, or make a plan to quit.

TFGCI is part of Be The First, CVS Health’s new five-year, $50 million initiative that uses education, advocacy, tobacco control, and healthy behavior programming to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco- free generation and extend the company’s larger commitment to help people lead tobacco-free lives. CVS Health has set actionable and measurable goals for Be The First, including a doubling of the number of tobacco-free college and university campuses in the United States. In 2014, CVS Health became the first, and remains the only, national pharmacy chain to eliminate the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products from its stores.

“We’re at a critical moment in our nation’s efforts to end the epidemic of tobacco use, but we know we can’t do it alone,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy for CVS Health, and President of the CVS Health Foundation. “Through the power of partnership and by increasing the number of tobacco-free colleges and universities, we can contribute to the progress being made where a tobacco-free generation in the U.S. seems possible, and not a faraway dream.”

The Health Center offers FREE and concise tobacco cessation appointments – both in groups and individually. Tobacco cessation sessions can be scheduled for either our Indiana Memorial Union Room M005 location, or the IU Health Center on Tenth and Jordan. To make an appointment, call 812-856-4468 or email quitnow@indiana.edu. Get help now at go.iu.edu/refreshIU.

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