The University of Central Missouri is going tobacco-free, and enforcement of the new regulations will be based on intervention.
“The goal will be to create a culture of compliance on campus through groups of faculty, staff and students who will be trained in the best practices in bystander intervention,” said Jeff Murphy, assistant director of UCM Media Relations. “They will work through the Office of Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention to learn how to approach individuals who are non-compliant about the new policy, to provide information about cessation programs, and request voluntary compliance. In cases of repeated non-compliance, we will work with appropriate campus supervisors, academic personnel, or Public Safety to determine appropriate action.”
The UCM Board of Governors approved a policy Friday to make the campus tobacco-free by July 2014.
“This tobacco-free policy communicates that we as an institution value health, and will help prevent incoming students from moving from experimentation and casual use to a daily addictive practice,” said Janice Putnam, professor of nursing, in a news release. “Many businesses, cities, and states are creating similar policies to protect the health of their employees, so in addition to the health benefits, a tobacco-free campus helps prepare our students for a tobacco-free work environment.”
The policy was developed by an 11-member campus committee that was created in fall 2011 at the request of President Charles Ambrose, according to the news release.
The new policy prohibits on-campus use of all tobacco products and nicotine delivery methods not approved by the FDA, including traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hookah/water pipes and all other forms of smoke-generating products, and smokeless tobacco such as chewing tobacco, snus and snuff.
Exemptions to this policy include personal vehicles, the Keth Memorial Golf Course range at Pertle Springs, parking lots during designated public events such as commencement, as well as sporting or performing arts events.
This measure updates the current university policy, approved in May 2005, which prohibited all tobacco use indoors and permitted smoking only in designated areas throughout campus.
UCM becomes one of 825 colleges and universities nationwide that have indoor and outdoor smoke-free policies, and one of 608 campuses that are tobacco free. UCM becomes one of 12 Missouri public and private colleges and university campuses that have adopted tobacco-free policies.
UCM will begin implementing the new policy in January 2014, providing a six-month initiation period for education, distribution of information, and opportunities for individuals who want to stop using tobacco to take advantage of low-cost cessation resources. Such resources are currently available on campus, and more information about them is available at ucmo.edu/vsap/cessation/.