Concerning a Smoke-Free Policy for UNC-Chapel Hill

 

RESOLUTION OF THE EMPLOYEE FORUM

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

May 2, 2007

WHEREAS the Mission of the Employee Forum is to address constructively the concerns of Employees of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including the representation of staff concerns to University officials, the University community, the General Administration and the North Carolina General Assembly; and

 

WHEREAS, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to providing a healthy, comfortable, and productive environment for the students, faculty, staff, and visitors of this campus; and

 

WHEREAS, the National Cancer Institute has determined that secondhand smoke is responsible for the early deaths of up to 65,000 Americans annually; and

 

WHEREAS, numerous studies have found that tobacco smoke is a major contributor to indoor air pollution and that breathing secondhand smoke is a cause of disease in healthy nonsmokers, including heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and lung cancer; and

 

WHEREAS, the 2000 Surgeon General’s Report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, has concluded that (1) secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death to non-smokers of all ages; (2) there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke; (3) establishing smoke-free workplaces is the only effective way to ensure that secondhand smoke exposure does not occur in the workplace, since ventilation and other air cleaning technologies cannot completely eliminate all sources of exposure; and (4) evidence shows that smoke-free policies and laws have not had an adverse economic impact on the hospitality industry; and

 

WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that secondhand smoke cannot be reduced to safe levels by high rates of ventilation because air cleaners are only capable of filtering particulate matter and odors in secondhand smoke but do not eliminate the known toxins; and

 

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of acute myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease for all people but is especially dangerous for individuals who are already at increased risk of coronary heart disease or who already have coronary artery disease and thus recommends that they avoid all indoor environments that permit smoking;

 

BE IT RESOLVED that in light of these findings, the Employee Forum recommends to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees that The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill be declared entirely smoke-free, effective January 1, 2008; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Smoke-Free Policy should be applied to all University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill facilities and vehicles, whether owned or leased, regardless of location, such that:

  • Smoking shall not be permitted in any enclosed place, including private residential spaces within university housing.
  • This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
  • Smoking shall only occur at a reasonable distance (consistent with legislative authority) outside any enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited, so as to insure that secondhand smoke does not enter these areas through entrances, windows, ventilation systems, or any other means; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this policy should be widely publicized and supported beginning no later than three months before its implementation by taking the following measures:

  • Copies of this policy shall be distributed to all faculty, staff, and current students, and shall be included with the information provided to all matriculating students.
  • Announcements shall be printed in campus newspapers to ensure that everyone has access to the policy.
  • “No Smoking” signs shall be posted at building entrances.
  • Cigarettes shall not be sold on university grounds, either in vending machines, the Student Union, or any other area on campus.
  • Questions and problems regarding this policy should be handled through existing departmental administrative channels and procedures; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that on-site smoking cessation programs shall be made available to assist and encourage individuals who wish to quit smoking.

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Employee Forum of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill requests that the Chancellor and his Administration convey and support this resolution and the position of the Employee Forum to the University’s General Administration and the North Carolina General Assembly.

 

Signed on behalf of the delegates of the Employee Forum,

 

Chair, Ernie Patterson

American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation@2006

Monograph #10 (1999).

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.

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