College bound, freshmen students are checked in and adjusting to their new life away from home. They are learning the ropes, getting used to the food, exploring the campus, and meeting new friends. If they attend one of the college campuses across the country that are 100% smoke-free or tobacco-free, they will be breathing easier. Those returning students who smoke may have a more difficult time.
The most successful smoke-free policies on campuses have been because of the efforts of students and college employees. Their questioning of the role that tobacco has in an educational setting has lead campuses to adopt these policies. Colleges in Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Illinois have 100% smokefree laws that will protect students and staff from secondhand smoke in dorms and residence halls. Other states have voluntarily provided smokefree living areas and campuses at the request of their students. Many colleges and universities still allow smoking, and smoking rates among college students are in the range of 30%. These measures make it easier to breathe on campus without walking through plumes of smoke.
If you have ever been on or near a college campus, you have seen the tobacco promotions and sponsorships. The 18-24 year old college students are important to the tobacco industry because they are targeted as their new, potential customers, and future smokers. Once hooked, these smokers find it difficult to fight the addiction to nicotine, as well as end the social aspects of smoking.
Parents are the front line when it comes to helping their children make decisions pertaining to their future. In Florida, teachers can provide the educational information on the huge tobacco industry and the health aspects if you use tobacco. Our free, on-line course provides lesson plans, and may provide you with up to 60 teacher in-service credits. Find out how you can help your students make healthy choices. Go to: www.tobaccopreventiontraining.org.