Dear UNH Community:
I am writing to announce that on June 1, 2015, the University of New Haven will become a Tobacco-Free/Smoke-Free Campus. This decision is based on the results of a 2014 survey of the UNH community and the goal to create a healthier learning and work environment for our students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. Click here to read the full text of the policy.
Research shows that tobacco is the number one cause of avoidable death in the United States, and by establishing a Tobacco-Free/Smoke-Free Campus we will reduce exposure to carcinogens and asthma triggers. This is important for many reasons, including the fact that the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act requires us to maintain an accessible campus that provides accommodation for students and employees with medical conditions, such as asthma, that are triggered by second-hand smoke. This decision also will eliminate the litter caused by improper disposal of cigarette butts and allow facilities staff to focus their efforts on other areas of campus.
We recognize that while the majority of the University community does not smoke, others struggle with this highly addictive practice and its many damaging effects. Over the next few months, the University will provide information, education and data on smoking cessation programs in an effort to help those who would like to "kick the habit." It is our hope that, by the time the policy takes effect, the number of smokers at UNH will have dropped significantly and that the entire campus will embrace this initiative.
With this policy change, UNH joins about 1,500 campuses across the United States that have already become tobacco/smoke-free. This change in policy will establish a campus culture of respect, wellness and sustainability. We are not judging or excluding people who choose to smoke; we are merely asking them not to use tobacco on the campus where it can impact others.
With best wishes,
Steven H. Kaplan