The decision to become a smoke-free University aligns perfectly with the goals of MHealthy to improve the health of the U-M community.
Smoking has long been known to be a primary cause of lung cancer, and the list of other diseases caused by smoking includes certain aortic aneurysms, myeloid leukemia, cataracts, cervical cancer, kidney and pancreatic cancer, pneumonia, periodontitis and stomach cancer.
The Surgeon General’s 2004 and 2006 reports, The Health Consequences of Smoking and The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, warned that no level of smoke is safe. Other conclusions included benefits of smoking cessation to both the smoker and his/her family due to second-hand smoke:
- Pooled evidence indicates a 20-30 percent increase in the risk of lung cancer from secondhand smoke exposure associated with living with a smoker.
- Evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between exposure to secondhand smoke and increased risks of coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality among both men and women.
- Workplace restrictions are highly effective in reducing secondhand smoke exposure.
- Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits, reducing risks for diseases caused by smoking and improving health in general.
Working Toward a Smoke-Free Environment
The University of Michigan first adopted a University-wide smoking policy (SPG 601.4) in 1987, which banned smoking in buildings (except designated residence halls) and University vehicles. In 1998, the U-M Health System prohibited smoking on the grounds and in public spaces. In 2003, the Residence Hall Association eliminated smoking from all residence halls. The policy has been revised periodically and now includes all U-M campuses.
Smoking cessation assistance is available from the Tobacco Consultation Service, established by the U-M Health System.