The Eliminate Tobacco Use Initiative’s goal remains constant: to create a tobacco-free culture on college and university campuses. Faculty, staff, students and patients remain our priority populations. To reach these audiences and achieve this goal, there are three core domains – foundational areas supported by evidence-based best practices in tobacco control – that all of our strategic activities are aligned with: policy, prevention and cessation.
Tobacco-free policies reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and influence behavior change by reducing opportunities for use of tobacco products
Education, outreach and awareness efforts designed to prevent initiation of tobacco product use
Accessible tobacco cessation services for individuals who are ready to quit
Evidence-based policies are the driver for all tobacco control activities in the Eliminate Tobacco Use Initiative. Existing measures (such as smoke-free indoor workplace and tobacco-free campus policies) prove that population-based policy interventions can shape behavior to reduce tobacco use, ultimately impacting morbidity and mortality.
A tobacco-free task force is a group of key university administrators that work to create a safe, healthy and accessible campus environment by implementing tobacco-free policies, educational activities and assuring the compliance of a tobacco-free campus. A task force may be comprised of a variety of stakeholders including but not limited to students, residential advisors, departments heads, college deans, and environmental health and safety officers to assure representation across the entire campus.
Having a comprehensive tobacco- and smoke-free policy protects the health and wellness of everyone who visits your campus. Resources and guides are available to assist with the adoption and implementation of a 100% Tobacco-Free Campus Policy.
The University of Texas Austin Tobacco Research and Evaluation Team’s Texas College Tobacco Policy Database is a searchable database that includes a description of the tobacco policies for colleges and universities in the state of Texas and provides a rating for each school’s policy.
Prevention is the cornerstone of public health that operates upstream of the burdens of failing health and increasing health care costs. Each day about 1,600 kids in the United States try their first cigarette and an additional 235 become new daily users. Preventing people from starting to use tobacco products is the best means for improving health and decreasing health care costs in the long term. Campus-wide engagement in tobacco prevention activities establishes a culture of respect for all, promotes health and will ultimately impact the estimated $8.85 billion annual cost to Texas.
Peers Against Tobacco is a system-level, multi-component, coordinated tobacco prevention program for colleges and universities in the state of Texas. Peers Against Tobacco is funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and designed and implemented through The University of Texas at Austin Tobacco Research and Evaluation Team. There are currently 22 participating PAT schools across the state, including two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities. The program’s overall goal is to reduce the use of tobacco and other alternative tobacco products (e.g., electronic cigarettes, hookah) among college and university students, and ultimately to change the overall tobacco landscape of Texas colleges and universities. Each participating school must build or expand on a campus peer group, implement outreach campaigns, choose sustainable tobacco prevention goals, and assess the tobacco environment on and around their campus.
Eliminate Tobacco Use Day is intended to amplify the national tobacco-free momentum on or around observance days (i.e. the Great American Smokeout). An event kit is available to participating institutions to create their own ETU Day event or supplement existing outreach and education. Multiple schools have customized the kit contents with support from the ETU team.
About 14% of the U.S. adult population identify as smokers. In Texas, approximately 3.17 million residents – or 14.7% of Texans – identify as smokers. Providing vibrant, state-of-the-art, smoking cessation services to your campus community offers an opportunity to serve the 68% (national average) of those active smokers who are ready to quit.
MD Anderson is an accredited site by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP) to provide a five-day class for individuals interested in seeking Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) training. The program offers the highest quality of tobacco treatment training based on the most up-to-date evidence-based tobacco cessation research and treatment strategies.
In addition to the state quitline, your institution can integrate tobacco cessation treatment and education into your health and wellness programs. This may include providing medical consultation through the institution’s health center, providing individual or group counseling programs and increasing access on campus to nicotine replacement therapy and other pharmacological cessation medications.
If on-campus treatment options are limited or unavailable, institutions can partner with local health centers or agencies to ensure access to cessation services are available. This may include cessation services covered by the insurance plan for students, faculty and staff to use at a local community clinic. Utilize campus communication platforms to promote awareness of these services as well as the state quitline and other cessation resources.