September 01, 2011 — Coral Gables — In a move to solidify its commitment to creating a healthy living and working environment for its students and employees, the University of Miami has launched the first step in a three-year initiative to make its Coral Gables campus smoke free.
Starting September 1, smoking is permitted only in designated areas on campus. The new policy, which started with a student-led initiative and is backed by Student Government, the Graduate Student Association, and Student Bar Association, is aimed at eliminating exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke on the Coral Gables campus and intensifying efforts to assist smokers who’d like to quit.
With some 443,000 people dying prematurely each year from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke and another 8.6 million living with a smoking-related serious illness, UM’s new smoke free initiative also is part of the institution’s overall wellness philosophy, which is reflected in myriad programs for employees and students.
“We’re doing this for our students, co-workers, visitors, families, and friends,” UM President Donna E. Shalala says.
A recent survey of 2,186 students found that 59 percent agree or strongly agree with having designated smoking areas throughout the campus, while 63 percent agree or strongly agree on having a completely smoke-free campus.
With the September 1 launch of the policy, UM’s Coral Gables campus joins the Miller School of Medicine, which has been entirely smoke free since March 2010.
Additional information on the new policy, including a map with the designated smoking locations, is available at http://www.miami.edu/smokefree. The website also includes links to helpful resources on smoking-cessation programs, including the University’s own national award-winning Be Smoke Free initiative.
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