Health Science faculty receives grant to increase tobacco-free signage

Updated signs reflect 100% tobacco-free campus

October 17, 2022 |

Faculty member holding a sign that says "Welcome Breathe Easy"Thanks to a Blue Earth County Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) grant, updated signs are being installed at Minnesota State University, Mankato to help remind students, staff and visitors that the campus is 100% tobacco free.

“We want Minnesota State Mankato to be a place that everyone can breathe easy,” Mary Kramer (pictured), a Health Science professor who wrote the grant, said. “We've updated the policy so that it is officially 100% tobacco-free. That means no tobacco of any kind at any time for anyone while on any University property.”

Kramer said refreshed signs are something the campus community wanted.

“A total of 88 percent of employees, and 79 percent of students agreed or strongly agreed that colleges have a responsibility to lessen the risk of tobacco addiction by adopting policies that discourage tobacco product use.”

In addition to nearly 300 new signs going up around the University, Kramer said the Mavericks for Clean Air task force that advocated for the policy update felt it essential that free evidence-based cessation resources for students, employees and community members who want to quit--including free online coaching sessions--be provided. 

“The realization and acceptance that nicotine addiction can be very hard to beat is key,” Kramer said. “There is value in supporting those trying to quit by not shaming those who use tobacco but openly sharing all the options.

Kramer said 29 percent of students who vape tobacco report daily use and that tobacco use at Minnesota State Mankato is nearly two times the national college student use.

The tobacco policy, cessation resources, hotspot report form and Mavericks for Clean Air

For additional information, please contact Mary Kramer, Associate Professor, Health Science, 507-389-1422.