Aug. 3, 2009
University begins countdown to smoke-free campus in 2010
Northwest Missouri State University is going smoke free, but students, faculty, staff and others used to grabbing a quick nicotine fix while on campus have just under a year to get used to the notion of lighting up somewhere else, or, better yet, kicking the habit altogether.
The University already bans smoking inside campus buildings, but the practice is still OK at a limited number of outdoor locations equipped with butt receptacles. As of Aug. 1, 2010, however, the no-smoking rule will be expanded to include all university-owned or leased property and all university vehicles.
Northwest Wellness Director/Assistant Director of Health Services Beau Dooley said the University recognizes how tough it can be for smokers to quit, and that the campus Wellness Center will make smoking cessation classes and other resources available to students, faculty and staff starting this fall.
"Everyone benefits from a smoke-free campus," Dooley said. "Recent campus surveys indicate that a majority of faculty, staff and students do not smoke and are in favor of a smoke-free environment. For those who do smoke, research shows that smoke-free policies help empower individuals to reduce their cigarette use or quit altogether."
Going smoke-free also means protecting Northwest's non-smokers from the dangers of second-hand smoke.
"The U.S. Surgeon General reports that second-hand smoke contains thousands of harmful chemicals, and that there is no risk-free level of exposure," Dooley said. "Having a smoke-free campus environment is an important public health measure that will protect everyone on our campus."
According to information released by the Wellness Center, all Northwest faculty, staff and students will have a "collective responsibility" to promote the safety and health of the campus community by helping to enforce the smoking ban. Individuals observed smoking are to be reminded of the policy in a "courteous manner."
However, Northwest reserves the right to initiate disciplinary procedures against individuals found to be in continuous violation.
The policy applies to all students, employees, contractors, volunteers and visitors on university-controlled property and encompasses cigarettes, cigars, pipes and all other forms of smoke-generating products.
"It is exciting that our campus will become one of the growing number of colleges and universities that are going completely smoke-free," Dooley said. "Doing so demonstrates that Northwest is committed to the health and well-being of the entire campus community and is setting an example that other institutions may follow."
Anyone with questions about Northwest's smoke-free policy, or who needs information on how to quit, should call Dooley at 660.562.1348 (ext. 1348 on campus) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information, please contact:
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
email@example.com | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468