When Loyola University recently became TOBACCO-FREE at the start of August we decided to look through back issues of The Maroon and see how the history of smoking on campus has played out over the years.
In the 1920’s through the 1970’s tobacco advertising was regularly found in The Maroon….
In the 1936 article a Loyola “cigarette fiend” explained the potential economic savings of quitting smoking (based on an average of 10 packs per week!), with the motivation for quitting being all the extra cash he’d have to fund “45 or 50 more” dates each year!
In 1964 after the infamous federal report (Smoking and Health) was released indicating that smoking was indeed linked to lung cancer, Loyola students weigh-in as to whether they planned to continue to smoke, cutback, or quit. This finding was a surprise to many at the time and recently used as a major plot point in the Mad Men television series.
In 1975 The Maroon published an article on classroom smoking. Could you imaging smoking in class? Well, in 1975 you weren’t suppose to smoke in class but people were doing it anyway. There were also several letters to the editor during this time period complaining about the practice.
By 1981 efforts supporting stopping smoking start to make news with a report about the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. The Smokeout was chaired that year by the popular television actor Larry Hagman who played the ruthless oil baron J.R. Ewing on the then popular T.V. show Dallas.
In 1994 indoor smoking on campus starts being limited. In the article “The butt stops here for student smokers” we learn from an interview with the director of the Dana Center that the Orleans Room will remain a smoking area, but the St. Charles Room will become smoke free.
In 2008 outdoor smoking starts to become limited to certain areas on campus, though enforcement proves difficult as outlined in the article “Smoking on campus still not enforced”.
Whether you agree with the campus smoking policy or not, it took over 50 years after smoking was first reported to be hazardous to your health for Loyola to become a smoke-free campus … which provides us with an excellent example of how sometimes it takes a long time for the cycle of change to occur.
Here’s a lagniappe, the 1984 Great Smokeout commercial with Larry Hagman/J.R. Ewing: