November 10th, 2017
Penn State announced that the University will move to become tobacco and smoke-free across all campuses beginning with a launch in fall 2018. The use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, all nicotine delivery devices and other tobacco products will be prohibited across all University-owned or leased properties, facilities and vehicles. As part of Penn State’s strategic priority to enhance health and wellness, the University is committed to the health and well-being of its students, employees and visitors. Penn State is the 11th school in the Big Ten Conference to implement such a policy.
For 19 years, the American Lung Association has analyzed data from official air quality monitors to compile the “State of the Air” report. This year’s report that found ozone pollution worsened significantly in 2014-2016 compared to the previous report, while improvements continued in year-round particle pollution and fewer episodes of high particle days.
In both 1990 and 2016, Pennsylvania had the 22nd highest age-adjusted death rate. Compared to other areas with similar socioeconomic qualities, Pennsylvania had 27 percent more years of life lost due to lung cancer than expected in 2016. Tobacco use and a high BMI were the top two risk factors in Pennsylvania contributing to premature death or years living with a disease. The prevalence of tobacco use in Pennsylvania has dropped 38.6 percent between 1990 and 2016, though not as much as the national average (42.8 percent). These data can be used to inform tobacco control policy.