University receives grant to pursue tobacco-free campus

The CVS Health Foundation announced a dedication of $20,000 in grants to implement tobacco-free campus policies, in hopes of making campus 100 percent tobacco-free. 

The University is one of 82 schools across the country to receive a total of more than $1.4 million in partnership with CVS Health, the American Cancer Society and the Truth Initiative with the goal of building a healthier tobacco-free generation.

Since 2016, over 200 schools have received grants and assistance from the organizations to provide healthier spaces to over one million students.

The grants are part of a widespread $50 million initiative by CVS called Be the First, which has the goal of building healthier communities over a five-year period.

This investment comes at a time when, according to the American Cancer Society, e-cigarette use among high school students increased from 2017 by 78 percent and among middle school students by 48 percent.

According to a press release from American Cancer Society, Robin Koval, CEO and president of the Truth Initiative, said although the traditional teen smoking rate has fallen to an all-time low, the rise of e-cigarettes threaten to erase any progress from previous campaigns.

Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation, said strategies targeting college students is a vital step in changing trends towards less future tobacco use, according to the same press release. 

“By helping more colleges and universities explore and execute on tobacco-free policies, we’re able to positively influence the number of new college-age smokers and get one step closer to our goal of seeing the first tobacco-free generation,” Boone said in a related press release.

Gary Reedy, CEO of the American Cancer Society, said college-age kids are especially susceptible to addiction, making anti-smoking messages and campaigns all the more vital.

“College is a time when young adults are susceptible to developing or perpetuating an addiction to nicotine and tobacco,” Reedy said. “This partnership continues to enable us to help reduce tobacco use among college students and therefore reduce the number of people impacted by tobacco-related diseases.”

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