Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity: Campaign Addresses Smoking Near Childhood Center on Campus

WHAT: Students and staff at Colorado State University have collaborated on a campaign, "Kids for a Cause," to tackle a problem with cigarette butt litter and smoke-free boundary infringement at the Gifford building on campus near the Early Childhood Center children’s playground. The launch of the campaign will include children painting an outline for the smoke-free zone around the playground with imprints of their hands and the unveiling of smoke-free signs designed in a contest of students in the Department of Design and Merchandising in the College of Applied Human Sciences.

WHEN/WHERE: 11 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, May 7, at the northwest entrance of the Gifford Building on Colorado State University’s campus.

DETAILS: Two entrances on the west end of Gifford are within 15 feet of the playground and have adjacent sidewalks. Recently, people have smoked in these areas, which exposes children on the playground to the habit of smoking and the effects of second-hand smoke. The area also has become littered with cigarette butts. Although "No Smoking" signs were posted at every Gifford entrance, the problem has persisted.

Over the past year, the Colorado State University Tobacco Task Force in Hartshorn Health Services has worked with Lise Youngblade, department head of Human Development and Family Studies, to resolve the problem and create more obvious smoke-free boundaries at the Gifford building. To get more background on the problem, the Tobacco Task Force collected data, including daily observations and cigarette butt counting and collecting. Among several observations, the task force learned that the majority of people smoking outside the building could not see the posted "No Smoking" signs and thus littered the ground with butts instead of finding appropriate receptacles.

The group recommended adding ashtrays at least 20 feet from all building entrances, visible signs indicating smoke-free zones and "handprint" lines to outline the smoke-free zone around the playground. The Tobacco Task Force worked with Brian Chase, director of Facilities Management, and Jeff Sutton, building services manager, to implement the changes to Gifford Building entrances. Since many students use the building, the task force hosted a competition among them to design new "No Smoking" signs that will be posted at each entrance. Winner Chris Martinez, a Design and Merchandising student, will debut his sign on Wednesday.