Episode 4: Helping colleges quit tobacco- University of San Francisco

(uplifting music) (upbeat guitar music) Welcome back, to
Healthy Communities News. I’m Hilary Russo. Today, we’re on the beautiful campus of the University of San Francisco. (upbeat music) They’re one of more than 200
colleges and universities to get funding as part of the CVS Health Foundation
Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative. This program is part of Be The First, a $50 million commitment by the company, and the CVS Health Foundation, to help deliver the first
tobacco-free generation. Launched in 2016, Be The First
extends the commitment CVS Health made five years ago, when it removed all tobacco products from CVS Pharmacy shelves. Why focus on college campuses? It’s pretty simple, that’s when a lot of people start smoking. In fact, the Surgeon General reported that 99% of smokers
begin by the age of 26. So college is a crucial time to prevent the start of a lifelong addiction
to nicotine and tobacco. It’s even more critical now with the rise of e-cigarette use among young people. Their popularity threatens to thwart years of successful efforts
fighting tobacco use. Let’s look at how the
University of San Francisco is rising to the challenge. [Student] We’ve started our Breathe Easy campaign a couple years ago. [Student] So we have a lot of responsibilities. [Student] Our mission is to
keep educating students. [Hilary] Brynn Bangit,
Natalie Ortez-Arevalo and Kai Hennings are Student Ambassadors for the University’s
Breathe Easy USF initiative. Hi, I’m Brynn.
Nice to meet you. [Hilary] Having students
at the heart of the campaign has proven to be very effective. [ Bidisha] Student Ambassadors
can approach their peers and tell them about the policy. [Hilary] Bidisha Sinha is the Director of Tobacco
Control Initiatives at the American Cancer Society
Center for Tobacco Control. [Bidisha] If they see
somebody smoking on campus, they can approach them a lot more easily than if a staff or faculty
member were to do it. [Student] Students get lectured at all day, they don’t want hear
just another random adult telling them what’s good for them. [Hilary] The University received a grant from the American Cancer Society, funded by the CVS Health Foundation. (gentle music) [Father Paul] One of the many things
that students find attractive about the University of San Francisco, is not only our diversity,
but then how we build unity. How we build community. [Hilary] Father Paul Fitzgerald is the University’s President. [Father Paul] Underlying that is a whole campaign to create a very healthy,
living and learning community. And being tobacco-free
is one of the pillars of us being a healthy community. [Hilary] USF began its
journey to be a 100% smoke and tobacco-free campus
more than a decade ago. But, the road wasn’t always a smooth one. As Associate Vice Provost,
Shannon Gary, explained. [Shannon] Change is hard. So you have folks that are smokers, that are going to continue to smoke. [Dan] If you’re really going to make changes, you have to change the culture. The way to change the
culture is to educate people. [Hilary] Dan Lawson
is the Senior Director of Health and Safety. [Dan] We consider this a health issue. And you can’t enforce your
way, or site your way, or arrest your way out of a health issue. [Natalie] We choose not to fine
and/or ticket students if we do see them smoking. [Hilary] Natalie Macias
is with the University’s Health Promotion Services. We want to take more of a
holistic, educational approach. (game wheel clicking) [Student] We’re not pushing anything onto anyone. We’re saying, “If you need help, “then here are some resources. “We’re here to talk.” [Student] We try to go with a much
more empathetic approach. [Student] We all just want to
look out for each other, and just promoting the
well-being in each other’s lives. [Natalie] Some of the campaigning that we do is just simple tabling
events to build awareness. So it’s more fun, and interactive. [Student] We walk around
campus, clean up cigarettes. [Student] I’ve been vaping a lot. [Hilary] Student
Ambassador Ambika Aggarwal, provides one-on-one counseling. [Ambika] We talk about why they
started smoking at first place. What is the obstacle
that is hindering them to stop smoking? [Bidisha] The University of San
Francisco is an example of a stellar grantee. They never gave up, they
didn’t fall off course, they knew that they wanted to adopt policy and just kept that goal
in mind, and persevered. [Natalie] My advice, if a campus is
choosing to go 100% smoke and tobacco-free, be patient. It takes time. [Shannon] It’s also about creating a community that is safe, healthy and well. [Hilary] And that can
have many positive effects beyond simply having fewer tobacco users and smokers on campus. [Dan] It makes people more
aware of our environment. And being mindful of what
affect one is having on others. [Natalie] We want to eventually
have this be a social norm in regards to a tobacco-free campus, because every Fall, we have
a new incoming freshmen that need to be educated and build awareness
around this new policy. [Hilary] Staying successful
by staying vigilant, it’s a lesson we can all take to heart. (swooshing) Please join us again at
Healthy Communities News, where we travel the
country talking to people who are working to improve
the health of their residents. We’ll see you next time. (swooshing) (uplifting music)