Beginning on Aug. 1, Flagler College will be a smoke- and tobacco-free campus. The college passed a 100 percent smoke-free policy that prohibits the use of all smoking products including cigarettes, loose-leaf tobacco, chewing tobacco, and simulated smoking products, such as Juuls, e-cigarettes and vapes.
Flagler decided to go smoke-free due to the rise of new simulated products like vapes, e-cigarettes, and Juuls that are encouraged by college party culture and social media. As these products specifically target young adults, the college wanted to take a leadership role by becoming completely smoke- and tobacco-free. The college says the policy will allow it to better protect the health of its students, faculty, staff, visitors and community members, as well as better achieve its mission as an organization.
In order to help students, faculty and staff with this transition, Flagler will provided cessation and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to help those addicted to nicotine cope with cravings. This initiative will help in the college’s continued mission to provide a high-quality education in a caring and supportive environment.
As we move forward, the college hopes to create awareness, acceptance, and positive attitudes towards a smoke and tobacco-free campus, while reducing the prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. To accomplish this, Flagler College will be launching the Breathe Free Flagler College campaign on campus this fall semester. The campaign will be a positive, friendly, and welcoming, two-year long campaign that was created by strategic communication major students.
Project director for the ‘Breathe Free’ campaign, Dr. Eric Hoffman, said, “Smoking and the use of tobacco products have long been linked to health problems. I am very pleased that Flagler College has passed this new smoke- and tobacco-free policy, and I’m happy to be a part of the Breathe-Free campaign. With the generosity of our supporters and community partners, I am confident that our initiative will be successful and benefit all at Flagler College and the St. Augustine community.”
Tobacco Free St. Johns has sponsored the ‘Breathe Free’ Flagler College campaign and will help the college to inform and to educate students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community about the benefits of going smoke-free.
Tobacco Free St. Johns is a community-wide, locally organized group collectively working towards eliminating initiation and use of tobacco and alternative nicotine products among St. Johns County residents. Flagler College has been lucky to have the support of TFSJ over the past year to provide valuable advice, resources, and funding for this initiative.
Program Manager at TFSJ, Mary Ann Steinberg, shares "Tobacco Free St. Johns is thrilled to be working with Flagler College to adopt a tobacco-free campus. Together we can reach young adults at risk of becoming addicted to tobacco products and create a healthier learning and living environment. We are pleased that they are now one of the 63 college and university campuses in Florida that are 100% smoke-free."
Flagler College is also generously supported by the CVS Health Foundation and the American Cancer Society who have contributed an $8,000 grant help us in its efforts to go 100% smoke-free. This grant has and will continue to fund signage on campus and creating promotional items for the ‘Breathe Free’ campaign.
College President Dr. Joseph Joyner said, "I want to thank Tobacco-Free St. Johns and the American Cancer Society for partnering with us on this initiative. The health of our students and employees is one of my top concerns and I am glad to see Flagler College move in this direction - as well as offer support to those who wish to quit."