Baylor campus going completely tobacco-free
One month from today — August 11, 2014 — Baylor University will become a tobacco-free, smoke-free campus, joining more than 600 other colleges and universities around the country.
That means no smoking or use of any other tobacco products inside or outside of any Baylor-owned buildings, including those on campus, around Waco and in other cities. While Baylor has restricted smoking in its facilities since the mid 1980s, this new policy came about for two reasons.
One is the obvious health benefit to Baylor students, faculty and staff. The hazards of tobacco use and secondhand smoke are well documented, and interest in caring for our community’s well-being has pushed such a measure along for some time. Resolutions and bills calling for an end to on-campus tobacco use have been brought before the Student Senate and Staff Council dating back to at least 2007, and both groups joined the Faculty Senate last year in voting to support a tobacco-free campus.
The second reason is perhaps less obvious, but also important. Many grants to support cancer research now come with the requirement that the university receiving the grant must be tobacco-free. Given the impact cancer has on the world and on God’s people, fighting it through scientific research is understandably important to Baylor, and to leave money on the table that could help further such promising work (while at the same time hurting our own people) seems foolish. This move will allow Baylor professors’ work to continue unimpeded.
While the university is not requiring that Baylor students, faculty and staff stop smoking entirely, it is offering assistance to those who would like to quit.
Sic ’em, Bears fighting cancer!