Resolution on a Tobacco-Free Twin Cities Campus

  1. Whereas numerous studies have found breathing secondhand smoke (also known as environmental tobacco smoke) as a cause of disease in healthy nonsmokers, including heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and lung cancer (USDHHS, 2006); and
  2. Whereas the American College Health Association has encouraged all college campuses to become tobacco free (ACHA, 2009); and
  3. Whereas the 2006 U.S. Surgeon General's report "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke" concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke (USDHHS, 2006); and
  4. Whereas the Public Health Service's National Toxicology Program has listed secondhand smoke as a known carcinogen (USDHHS, 2005); and
  5. Whereas the University of Minnesota  Employee Benefits Department estimates that smokers cost the Uplan a minimum of $4.35 million in claims per year.
  6. Whereas sidestream smoke and mainstream smoke contain many of the same chemical constituents, including at least 250 chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic (USDHHS, 2005); and
  7. Whereas, based on findings by the California Environmental Protection Agency in 2005, the California Air Resources Board has determined that secondhand smoke is a toxic air contaminant, finding that exposure to secondhand smoke has serious health effects, including low birth-weight babies; sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); increased respiratory infections in children; asthma in children and adults; lung cancer; sinus cancer, and breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women; heart disease; and death (CEPA, 2006); and
  8. Whereas 825 colleges and universities, small and large, public and private, throughout the country have enacted 100% smoke-free campus policies to protect people against the harmful effects of secondhand smoke (and of these, 610 have a 100% tobacco-free policy) (ANRF, 2012); and
  9. Whereas more than 30 colleges and universities in Minnesota (including the University of Minnesota, Crookston, the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Bemidji State University, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Minnesota State University-Moorhead, St. Cloud State University, and Winona State University ) have enacted 100% smoke-free campus policies (ANRF, 2012); and
  10. Whereas the 2008 Opinion Survey on Tobacco Use and Exposure at University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus indicated that students, staff, and faculty report strong support for a policy prohibiting smoking on the entire campus (BHS, 2008); and
  11. Whereas the 2010 College Student Health Survey shows that for both nonsmokers and smokers at the University of Minnesota, on campus is the most commonly reported location for exposure to secondhand smoke (BHS, 2010); and
  12. Whereas the University of Minnesota provides tobacco cessation counseling for students, staff, and faculty; and
  13. Whereas 99% of smokers started smoking before the age of 26. According to the Surgeon General, if a student does not start smoking in college it is highly unlikely they will become a smoker.

The Social Concerns Committee resolves to support efforts for a 100% tobacco-free campus policy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.


American College Health Association. (2009, September). Position statement on tobacco on college and university campuses. Retrieved April 28, 2011, from

American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation. (2011, January 11). U.S. colleges and universities with smokefree air policies. Retrieved April 28, 2011, from

Boynton Health Service. (2010). Health and health-related behaviors, Minnesota postsecondary students. Minneapolis, MN: Boynton Health Service, University of Minnesota.

Boynton Health Service. (2008). 2008 Opinion Survey on Tobacco Use and Exposure at University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. Available at

California Environmental Protection Agency. (2006, January 26). California identifies secondhand smoke as a "toxic air contaminant" [News release]. Retrieved April 28, 2011, from

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (2012) A Report of the Surgeon General, Preventing tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, available at

US college students' use of tobacco products: results of a national survey Rigotti NA, Lee JE, Wecshler H JAMA. 2000 Aug 9;284(6):699-705

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2005). Report on carcinogens, eleventh edition. Research Triangle Park, NC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2006). The health consequences of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke: A report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.

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