A: The health and safety of students, employees and visitors is a top priority for Framingham State University. The United States Surgeon General has determined that tobacco smoking is the nation’s leading preventable cause of premature death and disability. Tobacco smoke is hazardous to the health of smokers and non-smokers alike. To promote a safe and healthful work environment, Framingham State has adopted new standards to encourage smokers to reduce or eliminate their use of tobacco, and to protect non-smokers from exposure to tobacco smoke.
Q: Why was tobacco use selected versus other health risks to address?
A: Tobacco is the only product that when used properly, as intended, leads to serious illness and premature death.
Consider the facts:
- Cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable morbidity (disease and illness) and premature mortality (death) worldwide.
- Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 438,000 American lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and victims of "secondhand" exposure to tobacco's carcinogens. American Lung Association, http://www.lungusa.org
Q: What areas of campus will the smoke-free policy cover?
A: All University grounds to include Framingham State University owned, leased, supervised, or controlled properties and University owned, leased, or rented vehicles.
This includes but is not limited to all University sidewalks, parking lots, landscaped areas, recreational areas, athletic fields, wooded areas; in the interior of all buildings, University residences halls, houses, and in personal vehicles on University property.
Q: Is there a clear defined designated smoking area for employees, students and visitors?
A: No. Providing a place to smoke does not support the campus’s goal to create a healthier environment. The majority of smokers self-report a strong desire to quit smoking; but are unsuccessful in their efforts each year. Framingham State is working to eliminate the triggers –like designated tobacco use areas - that make tobacco cessation difficult.
Q: How will the policy be enforced?
A: The success of this policy will depend on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers. Students and employees have a collective responsibility to promote the health and safety of the campus community and therefore share in the responsibility of enforcement. Individuals observed smoking are to be reminded in a professional and courteous manner of the university’s tobacco-free standards. Framingham State reserves the right to initiate disciplinary procedures against any individual found to be in violation of this policy.
Q: What about Framingham State’s neighbors?
A: Framingham State asks our students and employees to help maintain a positive relationship with our neighbors. Smoking off campus does not give anyone the right to litter on private or public property. Framingham State neighbors will be informed of our new standards and will be encouraged to contact the university should problems arise.
Q: Isn’t smoking a personal, legal right?
A: Court rulings maintain that tobacco users do not have the legal right to expose others to second hand smoke, a Class A carcinogen, and they are not entitled to protection against discrimination as “addicts” or as “disabled persons.”
*Adapted from Salem State University’s Frequently Asked Questions regarding their tobacco-free campus policy.