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Posted on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

Initiative to ban tobacco on college campuses nationwide to be announced Wednesday at U-M

By Cole Bertsos

The smoke-free University of Michigan will be holding an event Wednesday announcing a national initiative to ban tobacco use on all college campuses nationwide.

According to the U-M News Service, Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will make the announcment.

Anti-Smoking Recession.JPG

AP file photo

The announcement will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the School of Public Health. The U-M campus has been smoke-free since July 2011.

U-M President Mary Sue Coleman, the dean of the public health school Martin Philbert and U-M Chief Health Officer Robert Winfield, along with policy experts and educational leaders from across the nation will be appearing with Koh to make the announcement and present the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative.

The initiative is a collaboration between Health and Human Services and leaders within the academic and public health fields, and is in association with the Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan, according to the news release.

The event will be streamed live on the website, which is hosted by the U-M Tobacco Research Network and various other academic and public health organizations nationwide.

The website also includes toolkits, fact sheets, news updates, contacts and more.


Kyle Mattson

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

A number of spam posts were removed.

Ron Granger

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 12:16 p.m.

Non-smokers shouldn't need to deal with the health effects and stench of tobacco, and the cancer causing additives present in cigarettes. Why should we tolerate the litter of cigarette butts? Ticket those who toss them. It is a disgusting habbit, and no amount of money spent by tobacco companies on PR firms, "research", and on paid bloggers and paid commentators will change that. You've come a long way, baby.


Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 12:57 a.m.

"Non-smokers shouldn't need to deal with the health effects..." –– Using an obvious fact to support an erroneous method isn't exactly good thinking: or are you just trying to trick people into accepting the idea that says, "Ban it and the problem is solved"?? This is so like the old canard which says: Ban war and we'll have peace. Soooo very effective - as we've seen every year since the end of the Sixties. Which shows that some people (including you??) haven't come one step farther in their thinking. It's a disgusting addiction: and no amount of banning will erase it. Bans only increase the anger of those whose activity is being banned. Rather, maybe, banishing dimwits who persist in nonsensical ideology-based thinking is the better solution for U of M, this town and this country. Hmmm??


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 5:53 a.m.

Whats next ? No coffee, No donuts .. No cars on campus .. I can understand having designated areas .. But, banning is very iron fisted .. and truth be known .. they don't care about your health anymore than they do the sanctity of life !!!

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

When people start spitting coffee and throwing soggy donuts around at everyone else, I will support banning them. I for one am just plain sick of the whining about how people have a right to spew carcinogenic fumes into my air and I should just suck it up (so to speak) and let them do it. This makes me pretty disgusted. It isn't so much about saving the smokers from themselves as it is about saving the rest of us from their deadly fun.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

The old "slippery slope" argument. We can't do anything because it will lead to concentration camps and arm bands.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 9:33 a.m.

@trespass .. yeps and its all for the good of the people .. the kings and queens live as they want .. and control the ones keeping their fat aces employed :)


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 8:24 a.m.

What they (President Coleman and her lieutenants) care about is personal wealth and bringing grant money to the University. The RWJF gives millions of dollars to U-M in grants.

Kai Petainen

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 3:22 a.m.

"The mission of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is to improve the health and health care of all Americans. " Want to know something ironic about that statement? Read below. The Chairman and the CEO of that foundation, are also independent directors for Hess Corporation. What is the Hess Corporation? An oil company. And so... those who are at the RWJF are also at Hess.... and does this promote health? "In a recent water contamination case against several major US oil companies, the Hess Corporation will pay part of a $422 million settlement. The case was filed by 153 public water providers in 17 states against the oil companies "over water over drinking water contamination caused by the gasoline additive Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE)." The settlement also stipulates that the settling parties pay their share of treatment costs of the plaintiff's wells that may become contaminated or require treatment for the next 30 years."


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Actually Sally MTBE was never required by enviornmental laws, rather lead was banned. Since lead was used to increase octane ratings the oil companies had to find something else to substitute for lead and they came up with MTBE. It was still their responsibility to make sure it was safe.

Silly Sally

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

MTBE was a required chemical by environmental laws to make cleaner air emissions. It was later discovered that just a very small amount caused terrible ground water pollution from spilled gas. Oil companies did not choose to use this chemical, they were required to use it. Environmental scientists didn't do their homework. Remember this.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 2:48 a.m.

...and liberty in the public square takes another blow.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

@GoNavy - I'm certainly not a cigar virgin, but its not really a habit of mine. Just tired of the nanny engineering our behavior into cookie cutter denizens.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

You're free to smoke yourself to death in a sealed bag anywhere in public.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 2:21 a.m.

This is just a bit too "big daddy government" for me.

P. Marie Mason

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

Smoking is a filthy, smelly, nasty habit...and we should encourage everyone to quit. Support programs for the addiction need to reach out to all student smokers. The lure of the "cool" factor of smoking is a thing of the past. Our children, our young students need the institution of a university to support their growth and education. This could be that growing moment in their lives.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 11:42 a.m.

I'm pro-encouragement, but anti-banning, Especially for something that's legal.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 5:42 a.m.

While I agree 100% with the "filthy, smelly, nasty habit" part of what you wrote, I cannot for the life of me understand how 18 to 22 year-olds will benefit from an environment which "screams" the wrong message (that a ban will discourage anyone or cure anyone of one of the most insidious, destructive addictions known). Rather, I'd sugget that 18 to 22 year-olds have already chosen whether or not they'll smoke (anything). For those who've decided to smoke (for example) this ban most likely just represents a challenge to their ability to get around things. "we should encourage everyone to quit." - sure but is a ban "encouragement" or is it an insulting rejection of a person's addiction? Since when does segregation, threat of punishment and banning one's habits amount to "encouragement?" To many, those who are ban-addicted look more like con men and responsibility dodgers than they do "leaders" of a university. If that's the example of "growth" you want young adults to grow up with, then there's nothing more to say.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 1:02 a.m.

Yes, and we all know how effective bans are in eliminating problems. Ban It And It Will Disappear seems to be the motto of U of M and its president (for now). The proponents of this idea are making themselves look like fools - and we can suppose they've succeeded grandly with this latest notion. Our university and its alumni don't like being made to look foolish. After all, U of M stands for integrity. She and the regents evidently need to be reminded of this. And where are "U-M Tobacco Research Network" and "Tobacco Free Campus" getting their funds? I hope it's not from us taxpayers. Any persons or organizations which foist off phony and unworkable "bans" on us should be cut off (at the knees, if at all possible). Lets count the ways: a ban on drinking, a ban foul language, a ban self defense firearms and now a ban on smoking. This notion of perpetual banning of things they don't like hasn't been working out so well, now has it? A legitimate question is: what proof does U of M have that banning smoking on campus will eliminate nicotine addiction? Seems to me, legitimate reasoning and legitimate use of authority both demand some form or legitimate reasoning. WHERE'S THE REASONING??!! A fair case can now be made for forcing M.S. Coleman to resign - without added compensation. For that matter, this decision is so disgraceful, it makes firing her look like a good idea. And the same goes for the U of M regents - they must have signed off on this absurd notion.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

@Ron- Actually, smoking was only banned in U-M buildings, not on University property. The property ban, which makes people have to leave campus to smoke, was only instituted last year. Smoking is already very inconvenient, so most people who could quit have already done so. Primarily what this ban does is keep people who smoke from applying for jobs at the University without risking a discrimination lawsuit.

Ron Granger

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

"For that matter, this decision is so disgraceful, it makes firing her look like a good idea." You should attend the next regents meeting and demand her firing over this! Apparently you are not aware, smoking was banned on U of M property some years ago.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 12:18 a.m.

A few more vote lost for Obama.

Middle America

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

Is Romney pro-smoking? I refuse to vote for anyone who does not blow smoke in the face of an opponent while slam dunking an American flag basketball into a hoop with an American flag on the backboard while Toby Keith plays live in the background.

Middle America

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

One time, I saw Barack Obama slap a cigarette out of a citizen's mouth. He yelled, "take that freedom!" and then burned a Bible.

John Davidson

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 10:28 a.m.

" Our work to protect our children and improve the public's health is not complete. Today, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death not just in America, but also in the world." President Barack Obama June 22, 2009

John Davidson

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 9:54 a.m.

You bet its Obama doing it! Federal Government Continues Progress to Prevent Tobacco-Caused Disease While States Fall Tragically Short "President Obama's administration has confronted the tobacco epidemic head-on," said Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association president and CEO.


Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

I have commented before that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which has a stated principle objective to promote anti-smoking campaigns and legislation, looks at the University of Michigan as an opinion leader. Since the RWJF has millions of shares of Johnson & Johnson, they have a substantial influence on who sits on the Board of J&J. Thus, it is a conflict of interest for President Coleman to be involved in promoting an anti-smoking policy or campaign at U-M since she is earning about $250,000 for being on the Board of J&J.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 10:45 a.m.

I'm not sure I follow this "conflict of interest." Private organizations often become large shareholders of public companies for the express purpose of influencing corporate decisions at the board level. There is nothing subversive about that, nor is it below board in any way. Nor has J&J stated to Ms. Coleman that a requirement of her service on the board is contingent upon the spreading of any ideas outside of the boardroom. Finally, the RWJF is not paying Ms. Coleman's retainer fee...J&J shareholders are.