FIRST STEP TO FRESHMAN YEAR; GET INVOLVED
8-15-2017 by Katrine W. Weismantle
Throughout the summer a new flock of students, families, and visitors descend on Ann Arbor. The campus changes not only because it is too hot to sit on the Diag but there is a stillness to campus that brings serenity and health to campus. This past week I attended freshman orientation where I was able to meet perspective students, many of whom expressed an interest in an even healthier campus community. As a smoke-free campus we have cut down the number of smokers on campus but the ever growing number of electronic cigarettes users, particularly within the student population, is increasing. Many incoming first year students expressed their thoughts on different types of tobacco use and through conversations on the harms of tobacco they felt engaged to become a part of the solution and signed the tobacco-free campus petition.
While I was attending this orientation event there were many other current students talking about their own student involvement. In a conversation with one of these current U of M student they said that they assumed that electronic cigarettes were included in the current smoke-free policy. This student was surprised to find out that the current smoke free campus policy only includes combustible cigarettes (aka cigarettes that you must ignite with a lighter or a match). This student also wants to encourage their friends to quit using chewing tobacco because they see many students use these products without knowing the dangers of their tobacco use.
Although this event only housed a small number of the incoming students, many showed an interest and an investment in making this campus tobacco-free. Students can get involved by signing the MRelay tobacco-free campus petition at www.mrelaytobaccofree.org or by joining our smoke-free ambassador program. Smoke-free ambassadors are student volunteers who engage their fellow wolverines to practice healthy tobacco free behaviors through peer to peer awareness and education. To learn more about our smoke-free ambassador program check out our website https://smokefree.umich.edu/ambassador/.