On August 1, Minnesota State University Mankato will implement an updated tobacco-free policy for their campus, which strengthens the current policy to include stronger compliance rules, a clear definition of all tobacco products and a commitment to providing tobacco cessation options for all students and employees.
The American Lung Association in Minnesota applauds this action, which will help improve the health of the whole community.
“Thank you to school officials for taking this tremendous step in protecting our youth from the death and disease associated with tobacco use. The stronger tobacco-free policy will ensure everyone’s right to breathe clean, smokefree air,” said Liz Heimer, health promotions specialist for the Lung Association. “This policy is especially important with the COVID-19 pandemic because people who smoke are at a 2.4 times higher risk for severe complications than non-smokers. Any condition that potentially effects the lungs such as smoking or vaping, regardless of the ingredients inhaled, could play a role in making someone more susceptible to complications from the disease.”
Secondhand smoke has 7,000 chemicals, including 70 that cause cancer. Exposure to secondhand smoke causes an estimated 41,000 deaths from lung cancer and heart disease among adults each year in the United States. Secondhand smoke exposure in nonsmokers increases the risk of stroke 20 percent to 30 percent. Secondhand aerosol from e-cigarettes can be harmful as well. In 2016, the Surgeon General concluded that secondhand emissions contain, "nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.”
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.