Kent State Set to Launch Smoke-free, Tobacco-free Campus Initiative in July
Beginning July 1, Kent State University will become a smoke-free, tobacco-free campus. The new policy is part of the university’s healthy campus initiative, Kent State of Wellness. It is one of the university-level initiatives in the strategic roadmap to a distinctive Kent State.
“It’s who we are; we are striving to be a healthier community,” says Kim Hauge, director of employee wellness. “We have appreciated the time since the passing of the policy last May to the actual implementation in July, as this has allotted us the time necessary to educate employees, students, vendors and visitors regarding the policy. More importantly, it has provided us the time to share information regarding smoking cessation resources that are in place for employees and students that might be interested in quitting.”
Kent State of Wellness outlines eight health priorities: mental health, physical activity, nutrition, smoking and tobacco use, alcohol and drug use, preventive care, safety and sexual health. As the only Ohio institution to take the American College Health Association’s Healthy Campus Pledge, Kent State is making strides to foster a culture of health and wellness.
The new smoke-free, tobacco-free policy applies to all members of the Kent State community including students, employees, volunteers, vendors and visitors. It will be in effect on all domestic and international Kent State campuses, locations and properties, and it also applies to personal vehicles parked on university property.
“Our strategic goal to emerge as one of the healthiest university communities in the nation is an exciting and lofty aspiration that we named together – and one that we can achieve only through the active engagement of every member of our eight-campus community,” says Kent State President Beverly Warren.
The success of this policy relies on the thoughtful cooperation of smokers, and while the rule is not meant to be enforced punitively, repeated violations by students or employees could result in disciplinary action.
The use of electronic smoking devices, mod boxes and electronic nicotine delivery systems that create an aerosol or vapor will be prohibited. Restricted products include:
- Herbal and oil vaporizers
- Water pipes
- All other non-FDA approved nicotine products
Tobacco remains the single-largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, and there are benefits to quitting at any age. As part of the initiative, the university also will be offering resources to those who are considering quitting smoking.
For more information on the policy and tobacco cessation resources, visit www.kent.edu/smoke-free.