Health & Safety


Indoor Air Quality: Campus Smoking Policy

Plan to Make UWM a Smoke-Free Campus Under Way

Excerpt from February 20, 2006 UWM News Release:

The goal of a healthy, comfortable and productive environment for the entire campus community is the impetus for a plan to make the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee smoke free.

The widespread support for a smoke-free campus includes governance groups such as the Union Policy Board, which on Feb. 10 unanimously approved a measure to ban smoking in the UWM Union as of April 1, 2006.

The plan launched by the UWM Physical Environment Committee (PEC) has four phases. During Phase 1, which is ongoing, the PEC shares information with UWM organizations on the health implications of environmental tobacco smoke. In addition, Norris Health Center staff are engaged in education efforts regarding smoking cessation as part of the center’s mission.

Phase 2, which begins April 1, means that in addition to the UWM Union being entirely smoke-free, tobacco products will no longer be sold in the Union.

Phase 3 calls for extending the existing 30-foot smoke-free zone around building entrances, air intakes, and operable windows to all UWM buildings. In order to assist smokers in properly identifying areas where smoking is permissible, signage and smoking receptacles will be clearly displayed.

In Phase 4, planned for implementation July 1, 2007, the UWM campus will become completely smoke-free, both indoors and on all outdoor campus grounds.

There is no question that smoking and secondhand smoke are significant health hazards,” said Chancellor Carlos E. Santiago. “I strongly support the students, faculty and staff who are involved in moving forward these policy revisions for the benefit of us all.”

“The change to a smoke-free campus will be a process,” says Dr. Julie Bonner, director of Norris Health Center. She emphasizes that smokers will be assisted, and that resources and information regarding smoking cessation are available at UWM. A Smoke-Free Campus Work Group is being established that will include representatives from all campus constituencies.

Data collected by the Norris Health Center and the Division of Student Affairs in November 2005 was key in gathering support for a smoke-free campus. The survey used the National College Health Assessment survey tool. It showed that 64.4 percent of the 765 UWM students surveyed would support a “campus-wide no smoking policy, including no smoking in the Union,” and another 12.5 percent were “undecided.” Another 75 percent of students reported that they were “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about the “health-related risks from secondhand smoking exposure.”

Mary Kay Madsen, professor of health care administration in the UWM College of Health Sciences and chairperson of the UWM PEC, points to a report on “Secondhand Smoke: Awareness, Attitudes and Exposure Among Wisconsin Residents.” The study, released in December 2005 by the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the UW Medical School, showed that 75 percent of Wisconsin residents surveyed want smoke-free indoor workplaces. Fifty-five percent of smokers surveyed wanted smoke-free indoor work areas.

The current campus smoking policy can be found on the Secretary of the University's website under "UWM Selected Academic and Administrative Policies".

The policy number is S-49: "Smoking Policy"pdf format, Adobe Acrobat Required dated February, 2004.