UMSL Seriously Tobacco-Free

It started with an email. Signage and University of Missouri–St. Louis student volunteers passing out nicotine gum soon followed. Now, in its third stage, the UMSL Seriously Tobacco-Free campaign gets personal with Put It Out Day on Thursday (Feb. 21).

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to ask – politely – at least one smoker to put out his or her cigarette.

“The tobacco-free policy was initiated by students and approved by student, faculty and staff governing bodies,” said Ron Gossen, chief marketing officer at UMSL. “Now faculty, staff and students can collectively take ownership Thursday over implementing the policy they approved.”

UMSL is tobacco-free on all indoor and outdoor campus properties, which include university-owned and university-leased buildings, parking garages, parking lots, outdoor grounds, sidewalks and vehicles. The tobacco-free policy applies to faculty, staff, students, contractor and consultant employees, performers, visitors and the general public.

Visit umsl.edu/smokefree for tips to properly approach smokers. The website also offers more information on the university’s policy and cessation resources.

“The initial stages of the campaign have been successful,” Gossen said. “We have seen a real decrease in the number of individuals abusing campus policy. The goal of Put It Out Day is to let smokers know that UMSL is a tobacco-free campus and that the campus majority supports and benefits from this policy.

“We want people to clearly understand that it’s not cool to smoke at UMSL. Peer pressure can do that. Together, we’ll keep UMSL a clean, healthy and beautiful place.”

Those wishing to share their Put It Out Day experiences can do so on UMSL’s Facebook page.

Plans for the next stage of the campaign involve reporting smokers to the appropriate campus authorities.

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Bob Samples

Bob Samples

Bob Samples is associate vice chancellor for university communications at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
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