We would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Roger Anderson, and Lindsey Hauser at the University of Virginia Cancer Center for their participation in the planning of this workshop. Next up, I'd like to invite Lindsey Hauser, her interview with Dr. Bernard Daimler from Virginia Commonwealth University. Thanks so much for being here. Thank you all for being here today, I'd like to introduce our speaker, Dr. Fuemmeler, Dr. Fuemmeler is the Associate Director for Population Science at the Virginia Commonwealth University at Massey Cancer Center. Thank you, Dr. Fuemmeler for being with us. We're going to talk a little bit about this initiative called the eliminate tobacco use initiative which aims at looking at tobacco control in Virginia. First off, could you tell me a little bit about the eliminate tobacco use initiative and who the partners are? Thank you, Lindsey. It's nice to be here and it's nice to be able to address this group. The Eliminate Tobacco Use Virginia Initiative emerged really from a collaboration here in Virginia between myself and Dr. Roger Anderson, my counterpart at UVA, and we have since partnered with MD Anderson and a few other partners across the US and locally here that were interested in building a coalition around supporting tobacco-free campuses. In 2018 or 2019, we began here in Virginia to build a coalition of university and college partners that were really interested in finding ways to support tobacco-free campuses. Right now we have about 22 universities and eight national and state partners that are working with us on this initiative, including yourself Lindsey. We also in 2019 held our inaugural summit, and this was a really great start that helped build our network of representatives from the various colleges to support policy changes in schools and universities and to support students and faculty smokers on new methods to support students and faculty smokers who want to quit. From there we've really formed the state coalition and the steering committee and then partnered with national partners, we hosted our annual summits to bring awareness and support to this issue. It's really been taking off really quickly. That's really exciting, it's great to hear all of the movement that's happened over the last couple of years. Can you tell me a little bit more about why you're focused on tobacco control in higher education in Virginia? For many colleges and universities a key mission is to serve the public good. This is especially true for public universities, and private universities feel the same also. Eliminating tobacco use on campus is probably good, it allows all people the opportunity to work and learn study in environments that are safe, that are healthy, and free from smoke. As we know from research, tobacco use is really the primary cause of many cancers. It begins in adolescence, it continues to be used and initiated and tried by many young people through their early twenties. By young people who have not tried by their mid-twenties are likely never going to use tobacco in their adult years, so that's why it's really important to create this culture of tobacco-free living in adolescent and in young adult periods of life. That's why we focus on colleges and schools of higher education. That sounds really important and definitely can make a big impact on our youth. Can you tell me in Virginia, do we currently have schools or higher education institutions that are tobacco-free and are there any barriers to going tobacco-free? Well, here in Virginia we have really a long history with tobacco, it's part of the culture in Virginia. Virginia is third leading tobacco producing state in the United States, followed by North Carolina and Kentucky. There are many tobacco industries here in Virginia, and so across the board, the policies regulating tobacco use, especially tobacco use in youth and tobacco sales are fairly lax compared to other states, so it's not really a surprise that very few schools are what we would call completely tobacco free because we have not really adopted that culture here in Virginia that recognizes the importance of tobacco-free environment. Tobacco-free environments for schools are really defined as [inaudible] There's no generic products that are allowed to be use indoors as well as outdoors on a college campus. We did some initial work when we started this, scoping out which schools were tobacco-free and which one weren't. We were really surprised to find that we're the only four percent of the schools of higher education in Virginia. The which there are many were really completely tobacco-free and most of these were private institutions. We started out planning these activities. We also noticed that many of these college's campuses have similar policies, and that was that smoking was prohibited indoors. You couldn't smoke indoors. That's pretty much across the board, but it was allowed as long as it did not occur within 25 foot of an entrance. Why 25 foot? That seems peculiar. We didn't intrude, what is this about? What we came to find out and what we came to learn is that there was an executive order that was signed by then Governor Kaine in 2006, that allowed the banning of smoking in public buildings, including higher education buildings. For the first time the rule around the institutions of higher education to set some of the guidelines for smoking outside on state property. But the order was a little vague. Institutions were having trouble interpreting it, and so the commission of health at the time set some guidelines around this executive order that put into this rule that smoking can be prohibited within 25 foot of an entrance of a building. This 25 foot rule, it's not based on science, it's not really based on health. It's a little unclear why it was put into place but it really set this precedent that I think has skirted around the good intentions of the executive order, which were to allow institutions of higher learning and other public buildings to allow them to set smoking bans on their grounds. Even Virginia universities are really struggling to find out how to comply with this order all at the same time provide a safe and healthy environment for all their constituents at the university. That's maybe more history than you want to know, but that sets up why there are so few schools in Virginia that have completely tobacco-free campus and gives you a little bit of history about why that's happened. That's definitely some interesting history. Definitely some work to be done. What is the Eliminate Tobacco Use Virginia initiative doing currently, and what are they planning to do to address some of those barriers? Well, we really see three arms in our tobacco-free campus planning across the board and that includes a focus on helping institutions develop tobacco-free policies, providing ways in which campuses can educate their students and their staff about the importance of tobacco-free campus and tobacco-free living, and also providing support for those that want to quit. Many people want to quit tobacco, they don't want to keep smoking or keep using tobacco products, and so institutions of higher learning could help their students that want to quit. Those are the three areas that we tend to focus on. But as I mentioned, we also have a yearly summit in partnership with our national eliminate tobacco university coalition, and we had formed a steering committee of constituents here in Virginia. With that steering committee, we're in the process of developing a policy survey to better understand what the policies are across the institutions of higher learning. If there's any nuances in their policies, and learning how they support tobacco cessation for students and staff. We're going to provide campuses and universities with their policy grade and hopefully encourage and support colleges to adopt policies and practices that are really more in line with the tobacco-free guidelines and tobacco-free campus goals. Great. Well, thank you again, Dr. Fuemmeler for speaking on this very important topic. If you're interested in finding out more information on the Eliminate Tobacco Use Virginia Initiative or the upcoming summit in Virginia, you can check out the resource guide that's been provided. Thank you very much Lindsey. Thank you.