Grant to help move BGSU toward 100 percent tobacco-free campus

The University has been awarded a $20,000 grant as part of the American Cancer Society and CVS Health Foundation’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative (TFGCI), a $3.6 million, multi-year program intended to accelerate and expand the adoption and implementation of 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies.

BGSU is among the first 20 colleges and universities to receive a TFGCI grant.

Over the next three years, colleges and universities throughout the U.S. will be awarded TFGCI grants to support their efforts to advocate for, adopt and implement 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies. Campuses will also receive technical assistance and resources to support their efforts with education, communications, cessation and evaluation.

“Recreation and Wellness is extremely honored to be a recipient of the Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative funding,” said Dr. Thomas Gibson, BGSU vice president for student affairs and vice provost. “While approximately 90 percent of smokers start by age 18, 99 percent start by age 26. This staggering statistic emphasizes the importance of supporting BGSU students with prevention and cessation efforts, while also creating a healthy environment for our campus community. This funding opportunity will allow our campus to focus on these efforts.”

The grant funds will be used to develop a proposed tobacco-free policy as well as a proposal for its implementation. A portion of the grant has been budgeted for marketing and education materials for the initiative.

TFGCI grants are intended to address a critical, unmet need by helping colleges and universities achieve 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies. The U.S. Department of Education reports there are approximately 4,700 institutions of higher education in the United States. According to the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights Foundation, only 1,427 college campuses are 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free.

According to a new Morning Consult poll of 2,202 registered voters, commissioned by CVS Health Oct. 12-18, 2016, there is strong public support for addressing the continued impact of tobacco use on college and university campuses. Among the key poll findings:

  • More than half of Americans (56 percent) think the number of tobacco-free campuses is too low. This is similar among U.S. college students where the combined percentage is 54 percent.
  • Three-quarters (75 percent) of Americans support policies that prohibit smoking and other tobacco use on college campuses.
  • Fifty-two percent of Americans think whether or not a campus is tobacco free is an important consideration when applying to, and potentially attending, a college/university, ranking behind academic quality (86 percent) and quality of housing (79 percent), but ahead of how competitive athletic teams are (38 percent).