If you're a smoker faculty or staff member, student or visitor on the Tulane uptown campus, you had better become friends with one of the 21 silver poles with bright green trim that are positioned outside. The poles (they're actually cigarette butt receptacles) mark the only spots where you can smoke.
A university policy passed in May 2008 forbids smoking in any building or university vehicle. Smoking is allowed only at the butt receptacles, which are positioned at least 25 feet from building entrances to try and minimize second-hand smoke affecting nonsmokers. No tobacco products are sold on campus.
Having the goal of a smoke-free campus, the Student Health Center, the Division of Student Affairs and the university architect's office have worked since the policy was passed to implement it, getting the smoking areas funded, approved, mapped and installed. The butt receptacles were positioned earlier this year.
Giacomo Tomasello is heading up the effort to spread the word about the policy. He is the graduate assistant in the Center for Wellness and Health Promotion, also known as “theWell.”
“My role is to facilitate less exposure to second-hand smoke,” says Tomasello, a Tulane alumnus who is a graduate student in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. “The biggest thing we're trying to do is raise awareness.”
At this point there are no penalties for anyone caught smoking in the wrong areas, he says, “but we do want everyone to be aware that the policy exists. And we want nonsmokers to encourage smokers to use the designated areas.”
Later this fall theWell is planning to offer its successful Quit and Win program, which is open only to students. It offers cash prizes to smokers who quit and free nicotine replacement therapy. For additional information, contact Tomasello or theWell.