News Release

October 19, 2010

Contact: Chris DeFrancesco, 860-679-3914

UConn Health Center Campus 100 Percent Smoke-free Starting November 18

2010 Great American Smokeout Marks Launch of New Policy

FARMINGTON, CONN. – The University of Connecticut Health Center will become an entirely smoke-free campus starting Thursday, November 18.

Smoking has not been allowed inside the Health Center’s John Dempsey Hospital since 1990. State law prohibits smoking in any state building and within 50 feet of an entrance to a state building. The new policy prohibits tobacco use of any kind anywhere on campus grounds.

"We are going smoke-free, and we are doing so proudly," says Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, UConn Health Center vice president for health affairs and medical school dean. "Smoking and second-hand smoke are widely recognized as the most important causes of preventable disease. As a leader in health care, we have a responsibility to promote a healthy environment."

The smoke-free environment policy applies to employees and anyone else who has business on Health Center grounds, including patients, visitors, volunteers and vendors. The launch of the new Health Center tobacco use policy coincides with the American Cancer Society’s 2010 Great American Smokeout.

In addition to establishing a smoking cessation clinic for employees, the Health Center has planned several events in the coming weeks that are free and open to the public.

  • Monday, November 1, noon to 1 p.m., Onyiuke Dining Room
    A “Lunch and Learn” discussion of the smoking cessation resources available at the Health Center, including a number of research studies offering free smoking cessation counseling and treatment .
  • Wednesday, November 10, noon to 1 p.m., Onyiuke Dining Room
    Presentation by the smoking cessation group Smoke Stoppers.
  • Thursday, November 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Food Court
    Great American Smokeout celebration.

More about the UConn Health Center’s transition to a smoke-free campus, including information on available smoking cessation studies, is available at

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

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