Ann Blackford

UK Celebrates Fourth Anniversary as Tobacco-free Campus

Published: Nov 20, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2013) − The University of Kentucky will celebrate its fourth anniversary as a tobacco-free campus and join with college campuses and health groups across the nation for the American Cancer Society's 37th Annual Great American Smokeout.


A Big Blue Tobacco-free Tailgate in honor of the Great American Smokeout and Lung Cancer Awareness Month will be held Thursday, Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Rose Street walkway next to the Mining and Minerals Building. UK’s Tobacco-free Task Force, the University Health Service, UK Dining Services, the Student Health Advisory Council, and the College of Pharmacy are sponsoring the fun-filled event with the UK Cheerleaders and the UK Wildcat.


Students, staff, and faculty are invited to attend and enjoy:


·    Free “cold turkey” sandwiches, s'mores, and hot chocolate

·    Corn hole and other tailgating games

·    Prizes including T-shirts to the first 300 students

·    Drawing for awesome prizes

·    Music

·    Information about quitting tobacco


UK's tobacco-free policy began four years ago on Nov. 19, 2009, with the goal of making UK a healthier place to live, work, and learn. The initiative is spearheaded by the Tobacco-free Task Force, co-chaired by Ellen Hahn, professor in the UK College of Nursing and faculty member of the Markey Cancer Center, and Anthany Beatty, assistant vice president for Campus Services. The members of the task force represent a diverse cross-section of students, staff, and faculty from departments and service areas at UK.


Kentucky leads the nation in new cases and deaths from lung cancer. Tobacco use remains the single most preventable cause of lung cancer, heart and lung disease in Kentucky and it costs all of us as taxpayers over $1.7 billion per year treating people who get sick from smoking,” said Hahn, who is also director of the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy.


Since the implementation of the tobacco-free policy which prohibits the use of all tobacco products on campus (cigarettes, chew, pipes, cigars, snuff, electronic cigarettes, etc.), the university has seen a dramatic increase in employees and students enrolled in programs to quit smoking or use tobacco. The university continues to provide free nicotine replacement products for employees, sponsored dependents, and students enrolled in tobacco treatment programs.


“We continue to see a steady increase in the use of tobacco cessation services by employees and students, including nicotine replacement and other medications for treating tobacco dependence since the policy went into effect four years ago.” said Audrey Darville, tobacco treatment specialist for UK HealthCare."


"I am proud that UK is one of nearly 800 college and universities with a 100 percent tobacco-free policy inside and out. We have become a national leader in tobacco-free policy and cessation initiatives. The impact of that bold move four years ago continues to promote momentum for health across the state and nation,” said UK President Eli Capilouto.


For more information about UK's tobacco-free policy, go to:


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at (859) 323-6442 or


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