Free smoking cessation and tobacco management services available

University Health Services (UHS) continues to offer free tobacco-cessation services and tobacco dependence services to all FIU students, faculty and staff who want to kick the habit or learn to manage their tobacco habit in preparation of the university going tobacco-free beginning Jan. 1, 2011. One-on-one consultations and group sessions are available at both Modesto A. Maidique Campus (MMC) and Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC). Call 305-348-2401, extension 5, for an appointment at MMC and 305-919-5620, extension 4, for an appointment at BBC.

With the new year, smoking and the use of tobacco products will be prohibited on all university-owned properties, including Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Biscayne Bay Campus, Engineering Campus, recreational facilities, residential facilities, and parking lots and garages. Tobacco use in vehicles that are on FIU-owned properties will also be prohibited.

“This regulation is truly a reflection of our commitment to environment and health,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Rosa Jones. “The smoke- and tobacco-free initiative will help us build a healthier university.”

Jones noted that enforcement of the regulation should come after a six- to eight-month period of giving support to students, faculty and staff that will incorporate smoking-cessation services and resources. An Implementation Committee led by Javier Marques, chief of staff in the Office of the President, will include student representation.

FIU is the second public university in the state to implement a tobacco-free initiative. University of Florida enacted such a policy earlier this year.

In approving the regulation, FIU joins a growing national trend. There are now at least 420 universities around the country with smoke-free campuses, including residential housing where it exists, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.