COUGH advocates work on a variety of tobacco-related issues on college and university campuses throughout California. The issues listed below are the current priorities for advocates working at UC, CSU, and California Community Colleges as well as private colleges and universities.
Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Campuses
Advocates are working to eliminate secondhand smoke exposure and tobacco use on campus. In order to do so, policy campaigns are being organized to limit or remove areas on campus where tobacco products can be used. The primary focus of these campaigns is the promotion of a safe and healthy learning environment for all members of the campus community.
COUGH Advocates and Student Advisory Board members understand that access to cessation services helps to make a campus policy more successful by offering tobacco users the support they need to quit. COUGH promotes cessation as part of a comprehensive approach to reduce the impact of tobacco in California.
Tobacco Industry Funding of Academic Research
Tobacco companies have an extensive history of attempting to manipulate research findings to enhance its credibility and advance their goals. Yet, the tobacco industry funds continues to fund academic research at the University of California. For the past four years, UC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other tobacco control advocates have been working to rid the UC system of tobacco industry supported research.
Tobacco Sales on Campus
Only a handful of California colleges and universities continue to sell tobacco products on campus. Advocates at several of these colleges are working to eliminate the sale of the deadly product on campus.
Tobacco Industry Sponsorship
Tobacco companies sponsor events and organizations on college campuses as a way of reaching out to the student community and promoting their products. Tobacco companies can be found distributing free products at fraternity parties, sponsorsing college rodeos, and advertising their products and events in student papers.
In 2007, the CSU Chancellor’s Office adopted a verbal policy prohibiting tobacco industry advertising, marketing, and sponsorship of CSU events and organizations. Even though the policy is in place, COUGH advocates are continuing to monitor the tobacco industry’s presence at CSU campuses to ensure the campuses comply with systemwide policy and the tobacco industry stays off all CSU campuses.