UAA snuffs out tobacco use on campus starting Nov. 19

Campus event celebrates smoke- and tobacco-free places

Nov. 18, 2015

University of Alaska Anchorage biology major Valeria Delgado has watched her sister suffer from asthma, which is exacerbated by secondhand smoke. Delgado is one of many students who helped a 2012 health movement catch fire at UAA, initiating a student body vote in favor of a smoke- and tobacco-free campus. The students in turn inspired University of Alaska administrators to create a healthier environment for everyone on Alaska campuses. The University of Alaska Board of Regents mandated all UA campuses go smoke-free and tobacco-free by Dec. 31, 2015.

UAA goes smoke- and tobacco-free Nov. 19, the same day as the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. UAA celebrates with student activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at various locations on campus. (See editor’s note for photo opportunities.)

UAA joins more than 1,600 U.S. campuses that have smoke- and/or tobacco-free policies. UAA’s policy encompasses all university property and prohibits tobacco and tobacco-related products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.

According to The Tobacco Atlas, tobacco smoke contains 69 cancer-causing ingredients. The impact on non-smokers, including those with compromised respiratory conditions like asthma, can be significant. According to the American Cancer Society, in the United States alone secondhand smoke is responsible annually for:

  • 42,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are current non-smokers
  • 7,000 lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults
  • Worse asthma and asthma-related problems in up to 1 million asthmatic children

Each year in this country the costs of extra medical care, illness and death caused by secondhand smoke are more than $10 billion per year.

Quitting tobacco is more than a matter of sheer willpower; research shows an encouraging community is vital for individual success. To that end, UAA is offering a variety of cessation services, support groups, quit kits and other incentives. Learn more at

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