Why Baylor is Now Tobacco-Free, Smoke-FreeSince the mid-80s, Baylor has restricted smoking in all of its facilities because of its commitment to the health and well-being of its students, staff, and faculty. A tobacco-free, smoke-free campus not only improves the health of our constituents, but it also maintains our commitment to fostering a caring community. Out of this interest for the well being of our community, the university has considered the restriction of tobacco use throughout campus for several years.
In 2007, the Staff Council passed a resolution to prohibit tobacco use on the campus. Two bills, Comprehensive Campus Smoking and Convenient Smoking Area, brought before the Student Senate in Spring 2010 failed; but it was clear that tobacco use was ever present on the minds of Baylor students. Valerie Hoerster presented her honors thesis, Smoking Among College Students, in May 2012. In it she noted that smoking among Baylor students, while below the national average, still makes them vulnerable to the risks associated with tobacco use. Student Senate passed SR60-18 Comprehensive Campus Tobacco Ban Act of 2013 to demonstrate their support for a comprehensive ban of tobacco use. On September 10, 2013, Staff Council and Faculty Senate respectively passed resolutions supporting a tobacco-free, smoke-free campus.
Funding available to the university by the Cancer Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) accelerated the decision to become tobacco-free, smoke-free across campus. The expanded policy to include a tobacco-free, smoke-free campus will help preserve funding for cancer research. As a premier research institution, this funding is vital to the core mission of our university.