American Lung Association in Alaska Commends UA Board of Regents Decision to go Tobacco Free
(December 17, 2014) -
Anchorage- The American Lung Association in Alaska applauds the University of Alaska Board of Regents, President Gamble and all three Chancellors for their decision to have all system campuses go tobacco and smoke free by December 1, 2015.
“The leadership of Drs. Gabe Garcia and Joy Chavez Mapaye from UAA has been extraordinary in laying the groundwork for that policy,” says Marge Stoneking, Executive Director of American Lung Association in Alaska. “They have made huge strides by conducting research, surveys and outreach.”
The new policy will help everyone on the UA campuses avoid secondhand smoke, which can exacerbate asthma and other lung conditions, while also helping to lessen cigarette butt pollution and making the air healthier for all students and employees to enjoy. Most importantly, it will remove the influence of tobacco from the University environment. Young adults- the age group of most students at UA- is the only age group in Alaska whose smoking rates haven’t declined. This policy will ensure that the post-secondary education experience does not contribute to that problem, and those who currently use tobacco may choose to quit. Students, faculty and employees were surveyed in the preceding months and more than 80 percent were in favor of a tobacco-free campus.
Cessation resources will be made available to students, faculty and employees, ranging from the free resources of the American Lung Association and Alaska Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUITNOW) to cessation counseling on campus for students who take enough credits to qualify.
The American Lung Association in Alaska has been working with a group of students and faculty at UAA for several years on this goal of tobacco-free campuses. In 2012, a statewide coalition for tobacco-free college and university campuses was formed, including organizations from around the state who have invested time in supporting tobacco-free postsecondary campus efforts in Alaska. The American Lung Association in Alaska, along with partners from the Alaska tobacco-free campus network and community tobacco prevention coalitions, commits to supporting all University of Alaska system campuses as they work to implement the tobacco free policy by December 1, 2015.
About the American Lung Association in Alaska
The American Lung Association in Alaska is a non-profit, voluntary public health organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease in Alaska. Our programs focus on the areas of asthma, clean air, tobacco prevention and lung disease.
For more information about the American Lung Association in Alaska or to support the work it does, call (907) 276-5864 or visit .