Temple University aims to soon become a tobacco-free campus.
The school will make the move "in the coming months,” president Richard Englert wrote in a message to the Temple community Tuesday, after a report from a smoke-free-campus task force that suggested a set of recommendations “to address the dangers of secondhand smoke and tobacco use on campus.”
“After extensive data collection and review, the task force recommended Temple should join the growing number of universities that are committed to the creation of a healthier working, learning and living environment,” Englert wrote in the message.
An existing Temple policy bans smoking within 25 feet of a building’s entrance.
Officials hope to have the new policy, which will “eliminate the use of all tobacco products,” including cigarettes, hookah, and e-cigarettes, in indoor and outdoor spaces throughout Temple’s U.S. campuses, ready by July 1 and implemented for the fall 2019 semester. Temple has campuses in Philadelphia, Ambler, and Harrisburg. The university has overseas campuses in Rome and Tokyo.
The task force called for a tobacco-free, clean-air policy and included recommendations such as educational and marketing efforts, introducing new signage, prohibiting ashtrays, and barring the sale of tobacco on campus, according to the report.
A survey sent to students, faculty, and staff found that about 64 percent of students who participated said they didn’t smoke cigarettes, but 43 percent said they were often exposed to secondhand smoke on campus.
The report, which noted that Philadelphia has the second-highest smoking rate among the 30 largest U.S. cities, was submitted in May 2018 and said the university “lags behind" schools like La Salle University, Thomas Jefferson University, and the University of the Sciences.
More than 2,100 campuses throughout the nation are smoke-free, according to the report.
The University of Pennsylvania lists a tobacco-free policy on its website. At Drexel, tobacco use and sales are also prohibited on campus property.
“Temple University is a national leader in the education of health professionals as well as a provider of a range of healthcare services for individuals in North Philadelphia,” the report reads. “In an effort to model good professional behavior as well as to promote and protect the health of the campus community and neighbors, it is time for Temple University to offer leadership in this area and become a tobacco-free campus.”