PVAMU On the Road to Becoming A Tobacco-Free Campus

September 27, 2017
Prairie View A&M University

Faculty, staff, and students are working to make Prairie View A&M University a smoke/tobacco-free campus. Greg Rose, the Program Manager for Health Education & Promotion, has started the initiative alongside his students in the Panther PhD program. Within the last two years, the University has received two grants to assist with Rose’s efforts.

 

In 2015, the University received a $5,000 grant from Truth; a company whose main goal is to find ways to end smoking and provide smokers and non-smokers with tools to make the change.  The University would later receive a $1,500 grant from Peers  Against Tobacco and Texans Standing Tall. An organization whose mission and vision is to “create healthier and safer communities and make alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs irrelevant in the lives of youth.”

 

Funds received from the Truth and Texans Standing Tall grants were used to buy promotional items to promote a smoke-free lifestyle. In 2015, Rose created G.A.S (Great American Smokeout) Games, a series of events inspired by the movie “The Hunger Games”. During the games, participants complete tasks as if their body has been influenced by the effects of smoking. Grant monies also funded tobacco education conference trips for Rose and the Panther PhDs. While there, they gained a greater understanding of how to educate PVAMU students about the effects of tobacco and best practices to become a smoke and tobacco-free campus. “On the trips, we learned how to educate students and how to change policy,” said Rose, “We are provided more opportunities compared to other Universities, which is a good thing.”

 

 

He is currently working with Student Government Association, Panther PhDs, Resident Life, Student Services and several departments on campus to update the smoking policy on campus. Truth initiative has helped Rose draft a policy that he will later present to the Faculty/Staff Senate. “Our policy will say no smoking of any tobacco products on campus because we know health is important to our students, faculty and staff,” Rose said. By Fall 2018, he expects PVAMU to be a smoke/tobacco-free campus and students take pride in that status. “We would like to hear students say ‘I care about my health and I ask that you not to smoke in front of me’,” said Rose.