ORI cessation study coincides with tobacco-free campus
The Oregon Research Institute in Eugene is looking for smokers to participate in a new tobacco cessation study, just in time for the University of Oregon’s new policy that will prohibit the use of tobacco products on campus beginning fall term.
The UO will be the first university in the Pac-12 to become smoke and tobacco free, and the ORI study is set to ease the transition for UO students, faculty and staff.
The UO’s Healthy Campus Initiative is in charge of transitioning the university to a smoke- and tobacco-free environment. The initiative is based on the belief that healthy students, faculty and staff are more likely to achieve the ambitious goals set forth in campus strategic and academic plans. Its intent is to create a culture in which the pursuit of a balanced lifestyle is valued, physical and mental health is fostered.
The battle to become smoke-free dates back to 2003 when the UO Health Center agreed to participate in a grant with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center out of Seattle. The university was provided with free nicotine replacement products to assist students with quitting tobacco products.
In 2006, all university buildings became smoke-free and the sale of tobacco products ceased at UO shops such as the bookstore and Erb Memorial Union store. Currently, smoking is prohibited within 10 feet of building entrances (25 feet at residence halls) but is otherwise allowed in outdoor areas.
University leaders began thinking seriously about becoming a smoke- and tobacco-free campus in February 2008, when the Smoke Free Task Force was created. Two years later, the Healthy Campus Initiative was formed and Provost Jim Bean announced that the UO would be tobacco-free by Fall 2012.
Around 5 percent of students and 4 percent of faculty and staff consider themselves daily smokers, though a 2008 UO report showed that 19 percent of those in the campus community smoke at least occasionally. The report also showed that 72 percent of UO employees and 73 percent of students favored making the campus smoke-free.
The smoke and tobacco ban goes into effect on Sept. 1 and will apply to all students, faculty, staff and visitors on all university-controlled property.
Those interested in the study can call the Oregon Research Institute at 541-434-1530.
– by Taylor Robertson, UO Office of Communications intern