To the campus community:
In our ongoing effort to create an environment that is healthy for all members of our community, the University of Michigan will become a smoke-free university by July 1, 2011. This will help reduce the risks of second-hand smoke and ensure a healthier environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors.
Several years ago we committed to the MHealthy initiative to improve the health of our community. The decision to become smoke free is a logical and important extension of that commitment, and an expansion of existing practice. The U-M Health System became smoke free in 1998 and the interiors of on-campus buildings are currently smoke free.
This new policy will apply to all U-M campuses. We will be deliberative as we enact this change, with input from the campus community on how best to put our new policy into practice, ensuring that the needs of our University’s varied constituents are understood.
To help make this transition a successful one, I have appointed a Smoke Free University Steering Committee, to be co-chaired by Kenneth Warner, dean of the School of Public Health, and Robert Winfield, U-M chief health officer and director of the University Health Service.
The committee and its subcommittees – which will involve smokers, non-smokers and former smokers – will address issues of student life, human resources, communications, grounds and facilities, and venues for visitors to the University’s campuses. I have asked the committee to submit its recommendations by September 2010.
As we move toward our 2011 goal of being smoke free, the University will offer free behavioral sessions and selected over-the-counter smoking cessation products to faculty and staff, along with co-pay reductions for prescription tobacco cessation medicines. The University Health Service will offer students behavioral counseling and discounts on tobacco cessation aids.
To learn more about plans for a smoke-free University, please visit www.smokefree.umich.edu. Also, if you have suggestions or comments about this policy, please share them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to working with you to improve the health and physical wellbeing of our community.
Mary Sue Coleman