The University Record, February 25, 1998



Members of U community urged to recognize tobacco 'threat'

At its Jan. 26 meeting, the University of Michigan Senate Assembly, which is the elected governing body of the faculty, expressed deep concern over practices aimed at distributing "free" tobacco products to members of the University community. Tobacco, whether smoked or chewed, is highly addictive, and it has been directly linked by overwhelming evidence to a variety of cancers. In fact, it holds the dubious distinction of being a product that kills people when used strictly as intended. Because of this risk, people are less likely to purchase tobacco purposefully for a first encounter, and some parts of the tobacco industry have apparently adopted the unacceptably aggressive marketing practice of luring students with "free samples."

UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute recently reported that tobacco use is at the highest level in 30 years among surveyed students, and university campuses can expect continued aggressive efforts on the part of industry to take advantage of what they view as an experiment-prone, lucrative market. All members of the University of Michigan community are urged to recognize the magnitude of this threat, to exercise good judgment in rejecting and speaking out against samples of any addictive substance, and to exercise responsible judgment by not facilitating the distribution of materials related to this kind of practice.

Louis D'Alecy, chair, Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, on behalf of Senate Assembly