The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Great American Smokeout aims for tobacco-free campus

Photo by Maryam Tunio // [email protected]
Students signed the petition, which they hope will be official next fall.

The Student Health Advisory Board, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, hosted their second annual Great American Smokeout to promote a tobacco-free campus.

“The intent is for a better campus,” said Joe Fuchs, a senior in the College of Engineering and chairman of the Student Health Advisory Board. “The effects of tobacco and second-hand smoke are detrimental.”

The proposal passed by Marquette Student Government in Fall 2015 would ban smoking on campus property. The proposal prohibits students from smoking in areas that are near academic buildings or residence halls. This includes the green space by the Alumni Memorial Union. Rather than having faculty and staff dole out punishments if students smoke in tobacco-free zones, the initiative will be student-enforced.

“We have worked to implement a tobacco-free campus for several years,” Chris Szewczyk, a board member and senior in the College of Health Sciences, said. “We recognized other schools around the nation doing this and did the same.”

Creighton University, Santa Clara University and Loyola University-New Orleans are other Jesuit schools that enacted a similar tobacco-free policy.

The board saw this as an opportunity to improve students’ health. SHAB members started working on the initiative in 2012.

In the Alumni Memorial Union ballroom Dec. 1, presentations and decorative posters promoted a tobacco-free lifestyle. Students came and signed the petition throughout the two-hour period.

“I came to sign to support my friend in the club and sign the petition,” Katie Andrews, a junior in the College of Nursing, said. “Not a lot of people are aware of the initiative and know the effects it (tobacco) can have.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke caused 34,000 heart disease deaths and 7,300 lung cancer deaths in adult non-smokers each year from 2005-2009

A working committee, comprised of students, staff and faculty, is working out details to submit the legislation for approval.

President Michael Lovell, the Staff Senate and Academic Senate still have to review and approve the proposal.

The Great American Smokeout is an annual day for tobacco users to quit their habit. SHAB tied this event in with their ongoing effort toward a tobacco-free campus.

If the proposal passes, there will be support and resources for users to quit.

“We urge smokers to find the reason they are smoking and find and alternative to the habit,” Hannah Menz, a board member and junior in the College of Health Sciences, said.

Last year, the organization hosted the event as a barbecue and had a turnout of over 40 students and faculty. This year about 30 or so students came and went during the event to sign the petition.

The board hopes the proposal will take effect by fall 2017.

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