#BTIDtobaccofree - Support Tobacco-Free Baker
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Over half of Baker students are college athletes. Baker has a long-standing history of being a leader in athletics not only in Kansas, but through the entire Heart Conference. Many students graduate and go on to professions in medicine and allied health, contributing to improved health across Kansas. Promoting a healthy lifestyle is part of Baker’s campus fabric, but is missing an essential component: A 100% tobacco-free campus policy.
Every year, tobacco use takes the lives of more than 480,000 people in the United States, and continues to be the leading cause of preventable death both in Kansas and nationwide.
The Big Tobacco industry deliberately advertises, markets to and targets young people – college students – between the ages of 18-24. 90% of smokers start before the age of 18 and 99% start by the age of 26. Tobacco-Free Campus Initiatives nationwide have helped prevent thousands of deaths from tobacco use, and we think Baker should, too. At a tobacco-free university, there is less opportunity for individuals to begin using tobacco, and research shows they will be less likely to begin tobacco use later in life. 1,757 college campuses across the nation are 100% smoke free, and nearly 1,500 of those are entirely tobacco-free
Baker’s current tobacco policy prohibits the use of tobacco inside of any campus building and smoking within 25 feet of any campus building. This policy is not enforced; therefore, it is not followed. Consequently, smoking and smokeless tobacco use often occurs directly next to and inside university owned buildings, which exposes the student, faculty, and staff population to second-hand smoke. 20% of tobacco deaths each year are caused by second-hand smoke exposure.
Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded piece of waste worldwide – an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of butts each year. Wildcats respect the environment and are proud to continually receive the Tree Campus USA designation from The Arbor Day Foundation. Creating a tobacco-free campus would only further engrain Baker’s tradition of respecting and caring for the environment.
A 100% tobacco-free campus policy will incentivize current tobacco users to quit, protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke, protect the environment from toxic litter, and show Baker’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of all students, faculty, and staff. Join us today by showing your support for a 100% tobacco-free policy. A 100% tobacco-free policy just makes sense for Baker – and we hope you think so, too.
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