The University at Buffalo is committed to providing a healthy, comfortable and safe environment for its students, faculty and staff. The health risks of smoking are well documented. In an effort to address one significant facet of the health and wellness of our community, the University is pleased to announce that effective August 1, 2010 smoking is prohibited in buildings and on the grounds -- including green spaces -- on the university's three campuses.
No matter how old you are or how long you've smoked, quitting will help you live longer. Smoking-related illness can limit your activities by making it harder to breathe, get around, work, or play. Ex-smokers enjoy a higher quality of life with fewer illnesses from cold and flu viruses, better self-reported health, and reduced rates of bronchitis and pneumonia.
For decades the Surgeon General has reported the health risks linked to smoking. In 1990, the Surgeon General concluded:
- 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops. (Effect of Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Pulse Pressure Amplification, Mahmud, A, Feely, J. 2003. Hypertension:41:183.)
- 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1988, p. 202)
- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp.193, 194,196, 285, 323)
- 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp. 285-287, 304)
- 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p. vi)
- 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p. vi)
- 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp. vi, 131, 148, 152, 155, 164,166)
- 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p. vi)
Not to mention the cost! Smoking is expensive. It isn't hard to figure out how much you spend on smoking: multiply how much money you spend on tobacco every day by 365 (days per year). The amount may surprise you. Now multiply that by the number of years you have been using tobacco and that amount will probably shock you. Multiply the cost per year by 10 (for the upcoming 10 years) and ask yourself what you would rather do with that much money. And this doesn't include other possible costs, such as higher costs for health and life insurance, and likely health care costs due to tobacco-related problems.
back to top
The UBreathe-Free initiative is being led by a campus-wide committee of expert faculty and staff. Joining these leaders in their effort are the Student Wellness Team and Wellness and Work/Life Balance. They all want to help you in your quest to put smoking behind you.
Wellness and Work/Life Balance, University Human Resources (Employees)
105 HRD Building
Amy Myszka 645-5357
Wellness Education Services (Students)
114 Student Union
Employee Assistance Program (Employees)
156 Parker Hall
Crystal Kaczmarek-Bogner 829-2144
Neil McGillicuddy 887-2498
Deborah Hard – 645-4460
For those members of the University community who are thinking about quitting and are ready to get help and support, the option of calling the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-697-8487 is always available. Trained Quitline specialists will talk to you about your concerns, provide counseling, provide you with a supply of nicotine gum, patch or lozenges (if eligible) and provide referrals to local stop smoking programs.
You've probably been smoking for many years. Upsetting your smoking habits by changing some daily routines will help you beat smoking. When you combine this with a stop smoking medication your chances of success double!
Here are some common habit breaking tips you can use:
- Try changing the brand of cigarettes that you currently smoke before you quit.
- Smoke a brand that you would never smoke.
- Try cutting out a few of your cigarettes before you quit.
- Delaying a minute or two or drinking a glass of water may help the urge pass.
- Get busy. Exercise. Do something. This really helps!
Now is your time to get ready:
Set your quit date and make sure to mark it on your calendar!
- Line up family and friends for support.
- Get used to the idea of quitting.
- Practice habit breaking.
back to top
UBreathe Free Supporter Training: Looking for staff and faculty to help us spread the word about UB’s smoke-free campus policy. This workshop answers questions about the smoke-free policy, explains why campuses are going smoke-free, teaches what to do if you see someone violating the policy and provides resources to assist someone who wants to quit smoking. Call 645-5357 to request a training session.
Other ways you can support the policy:
- Post the Smoke-Free Campus poster in high traffic areas.
- Be prepared to discuss the policy!
- Know the facts about e-cigarettes!
back to top