Clearing the Air

The case for a tobacco-free MTSU

MTSU recently joined hundreds of institutions of higher education nationwide by declaring itself a tobacco-free campus, restricting the use of all forms of tobacco by students and visitors on MTSU property.

Becoming a tobacco-free campus provides a healthy living, working and learning environment. It also adds to the overall campus aesthetic as the litter of cigarette butts and smokeless tobacco containers often can be an unfortunate distraction from the campus’s appearance. The University’s commitment to preparing graduates who are in demand by companies and organizations is also a factor. As health care costs escalate, more companies are asking about tobacco use of current and potential employees.

Lisa Schrader, director of health promotion for MTSU’s Student Health Services, said the transition to a tobacco-free campus will be worth the short-term obstacles.

“Good health is essential to fully meeting one’s academic and professional potential,” Schrader said. “MTSU is proactively addressing the No. 1 health risk in the U.S. and creating a more vibrant environment for its next 100 years.”

The policy will be implemented in January 2012, allowing time for the University community to be educated about the new policy and for the University to provide support to those who wish to cease tobacco usage.