HT Designated a Tobacco-Free Campus
Friday Apr, 01 2011
Huston-Tillotson University Designated as a Tobacco-Free Campus
(AUSTIN, Texas) 4.1.11 — President Larry L. Earvin announced today that Huston-Tillotson University is officially a tobacco-free campus. “We are the first institution of higher education in Central Texas to go tobacco-free, and the first Historically Black College or University in Texas to go tobacco-free as well,” Earvin said.
The HT community encompasses more than 900 students, 150 faculty and staff, and many visitors to the East Austin campus with roots dating to 1875 and a scenic landscape that sits on what was Austin’s second highest hill. Recently, students from the Environmental Health and Safety Committee surveyed the HT community to find out more about tobacco use on campus as well as attitudes about tobacco-free policies and cessation services. The survey found that almost 80% of students, staff, and faculty were in favor of a tobacco-free Huston-Tillotson campus.
“We are determined to create a safe environment free of secondhand smoke and to provide our students, faculty, and the entire university community with the support and resources they need to quit smoking or using tobacco,” said Earvin. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths and diseases in the United States with African Americans suffering disproportionately in mortality rates and on the severity of illnesses due to its use.
“We seek to provide a campus environment that is conducive to teaching and learning while preserving the sustainability of the planet,” Earvin concluded.
Earvin made the announcement in collaboration the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department’s (HHSD) Live Tobacco-Free Austin campaign to raise awareness about the toll tobacco use takes on community health and the local resources available to help people quit using tobacco. The campaign is supported by Communities Putting Prevention to Work, a federally-funded grant focused on reducing the burden of chronic disease.