MONTCLAIR — A New Jersey university has taken the first step toward its goal of eventually becoming a 100 percent smoke-free campus.

Montclair State University has become the only college in the state to receive a grant as part of the American Cancer Society and the CVS Health Foundation’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative, the school announced on its website. The $19,415 grant is a component in a multi-year program aimed at the creation and implementation of policies that would make campuses 100 percent smoke free.

Montclair State is among 20 colleges and universities in the nation that have received the grant. Currently, only 1,427 of the nation's 4,700 universities and colleges are 100 percent smoke-and-tobacco-free, according to the MSU website.

MSU plans to use the grant money to create the "Tobacco Free Red Hawks program." The initiative will incorporate smoking cessation programs as well as an education component meant to educate the school's 21,000 students on health and lifestyle problems that can occur as a result of smoking and tobacco use.

“The goal of Tobacco Free Red Hawks is to engage and educate the campus community and support those who are looking to make lifestyle changes,” says Montclair State University Coordinator of Health Promotion Marie Cascarano.

In 2012, the University Senate created the Campus Tobacco Task Force. Three years later, the Senate approved a recommendation to eventually adopt a tobacco-free campus, which would also ban vaping and e-cigarettes on campus, the university said.

According to the American Cancer Society, a recent ACS survey found that public colleges and universities are more than twice as likely to be preparing to implement a campus policy compared to private colleges.

“To be successful in creating a tobacco-free generation, it is important that we prevent and eliminate lethal and addictive tobacco among America’s college students,” said Cliff Douglas, vice president for tobacco control and director of the American Cancer Society’s Center for Tobacco Control.

Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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