What is #Share the Air?
#Share the Air is Macalester’s new tobacco-free campus policy. On January 1, 2015 Macalester became a 100% tobacco-free campus! Smoking, the use of tobacco products and the use of electronic cigarettes is not allowed anywhere on Macalester College property.
How did Macalester decide to go tobacco-free?
A lot of work went into #Share the Air! A Tobacco Use on Campus Task Force was created Spring 2010 to review the policy of tobacco use on the Macalester campus and make recommendations to the Vice President of Student Affairs. The Task Force engaged the entire Macalester community, considering a variety of perspectives – personal health, environmental health, and social justice. In the end, the Task Force elected to create a community commitment to behavioral change and the long-term health of the institution and its members. The Share the Air policy was born from this commitment.
I am a tobacco user? How does Share the Air affect me?
First of all, you’re still very much a part of the Macalester community. The policy is meant to be supportive of tobacco users looking to quit by offering a tobacco-free space as well as a wide-variety of on campus cessation resources, all free or low-cost. But, if you decide you’re not interested in quitting, this policy doesn’t force you to do so. We just ask that you respect the policy and use tobacco away from Macalester property. Be sure to be respectful of our neighbors too!
I’m not a tobacco user. How does Share the Air affect me?
Good question! Share the Air will reduce exposure to harmful secondhand smoke on campus. This will protect the health of all members of the campus community, especially those with health conditions triggered by smoke. The policy will also help establish a new community standard of non-tobacco use, reducing the likelihood that new students will initiate tobacco use.
What about public health and environmental and economic sustainability? Does Share the Air play a role in Macalester’s commitments to those things?
Glad you asked! Yes, Share the Air aligns with Macalester’s commitments to public health and environmental and economic sustainability. Decreasing tobacco use and exposure is proven to improve public health. Beyond that, health is one of the systems that should be examined as campuses strive to become ecologically and economically sustainable. Our tobacco-free policy will create a healthier environment for the entire campus community by reducing tobacco use, eliminating exposure to tobacco and decreasing environmental tobacco litter. This will help Macalester become more economically sustainable by reducing health care costs associated with tobacco use and by reducing costs related to cleaning up tobacco litter.