For over 40 years, the American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November. The Great American Smokeout, this year on November 15th, is an opportunity for smokers to commit to healthy, smoke -free lives- not just for a day, but year round. It provides an opportunity for individuals, community groups, businesses, health care providers, and others to encourage people to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and initiate a smoking cessation plan on that day. It’s also an opportunity to help people learn about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit, such at those available to faculty, staff and students through the Tobacco Free Yale Assistance Program.
Tobacco Free Efforts at Yale
Three years ago, Yale embarked on a journey to creat a tobacco free campus and culture where tobacco users are supported in their quit attempts. As an institution of higher education which researches and treats the effects of smoking and tobacco use and cares deeply about the health of its students, faculty, staff and visitors, the Tobacco Free Yale Initiative has been committed to creating a tobacco free campus. The use of all tobacco products is detrimental to health, not only for those who use these products, but to those exposed to second hand effects. Tobacco free policies help change social norms.
- Extensive smoking cessation resources have been developed for faculty, staff and students, including coaching and worksite programming which have engaged over 100 members of our community in quit attempts
- Onsite programming was brought to Yale dining halls where 25 employees participated and 100% tried nicotine replacement therapy and 53% made a 24-hour quit attempt. Though this may sound short-lived, every quit attempt increases the chances of longterm success for future ones.
- Awareness has been raised with multiple university-wide events and regular ongoing communication
- New signage continues to be installed throughout campus in collaboration with the University Printer’s Office
- Supporting our sustainably ambitions, we’ve hosted events to reduce cigarette litter
- The We Quit, So Can You video series celebrating our smoking cessation success stories has been viewed over 4,200 times
- Tobacco free language was added to vendor contracts and RFPs, New Employee Orientation, Undergraduate Regulations, Yale Summer Session materials and the Graduate Housing License Agreement and Residential Handbook.
- Language was drafted for an official tobacco free policy and university-wide communication which was delivered in March of 2018
Creating a tobacco free campus is a process.
During this transitional phase, the team continues to respond to feedback, developing and executing action plans and is partnering with Facilities Operations and departments to transition buildings and grounds to tobacco free workplaces.
We all share a committment to respect the policy. We also know that quitting tobacco is extremely difficult and complex. Make a committment to yourself on November 15th to quit for good and head into the holiday season giving yourself the best present of all- a tobacco free life.