Support a Smoke-Free Stanford sign now

Stanford University is committed to providing a healthy, comfortable, and productive environment for its students, faculty, and staff. However, Stanfords ongoing tolerance of tobacco sales and use on campus is contrary to the University's commitment and infringes upon students, faculty and staff's freedom to breathe in a smoke-free environment. Furthermore, by allowing the sale of tobacco products on its campus, Stanford University indirectly endorses an industry that is actively causing millions of deaths worldwide every year. Secondhand smoke alone causes tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year, and Stanford should do its part to help reduce this toll.

We support a smoke-free Stanford on the following grounds:

1) The freedom of non-smokers to move around campus without exposure to secondhand smoke is a fundamental right. Students should be able to walk from their dorms to the classroom and around main campus without holding their breath or avoiding walkways with cigarette smoke. Students should also be able to leave their windows open without fearing the risk of smoke entering their places of residence. Scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Stanford researchers have shown that outdoor smoking exposes non-smokers to significant amounts of toxins at levels "many times more concentrated than normal background air pollution levels" (Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 2007). Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate "adverse effects on the heart and respiratory systems and increases the severity of asthma attacks, especially in children" (Surgeon General's Report, 2006). We ask that Stanford University protect and promote the health of its faculty, student, and staff population by adopting a smoke-free campus policy.

2) The Stanford School of Medicine's adoption of an official tobacco-free campus policy promotes healthy, tobacco-free lifestyles among its faculty, staff, and students and asserts its rejection of tobacco industry practices. We expect the same rights to health as those possessed by members of the Stanford medical community.

3) More than 160 U.S. colleges and universities have rejected the tobacco industry in the interest of health by adopting smoke-free campus policies with exemptions for remote outdoor areas; 128 have adopted 100\% smoke-free policies with no exemptions. Educational institutions across the country, public and private, are increasingly going smoke-free. We acknowledge that Stanford University has an obligation as a leading institution to recognize and rise to this standard of health promotion and health rights.

4) The University's responsibility to promote healthy lifestyles in its community is contradicted by the sale and promotion of tobacco products on its campus. In California alone, more than 26 colleges and universities, including UCLA and UC Berkeley, have adopted official policies banning the sales and promotion of tobacco products on their campuses. In order to promote a healthier community and ensure Stanford's reputation as a progressive institution endures, we firmly oppose the sale, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco products on campus.


We are committed to improving the quality of life and establishing a truly safe environment at Stanford University by protecting our health and the health of our peers from the hazards of tobacco use and secondhand smoke through our support of a smoke-free Stanford. Out of concern for the health rights of our community and in further recognition of the incompatibility of Stanford University's mission and the promotion of tobacco products, we support the following tobacco-free policy for our campus that:

* Advocates healthy living and takes an ethical stance against the deceptive and harmful practices of the tobacco industry by prohibiting the sale, marketing, and promotion of tobacco products on campus.

* Designates the entire campus as smoke-free except for a few sufficiently remote locations where those who choose to smoke can do so without infringing upon the right of students, faculty, and staff to breathe smoke-free air at work and in their residences.

* Promotes and provides quality tobacco cessation programs, services, and products for those who wish to quit smoking.

We, the faculty, students and staff of the Stanford community, call on the University to ensure that Stanford's policies actively promote a tobacco-free Stanford.

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Cara PattonBy:
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Stanford University

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