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Proposal to Create a Tobacco-Free Campus Policy: We Need To Hear From YOU!
For the past several years, students of WOU have been actively developing a plan to propose
a Tobacco-Free Campus Policy and Campaign! WOU is one of two public schools left in Oregon
that have not created a Tobacco or Smoke Free Policy. Click here for a complete list of schools.
There are currently now at least 1,514 100% smoke-free campuses nationwide, 1,014 of which are
100% tobacco-free and 587 prohibit the use of e-cigarettes on-campus.
As we are moving forward with the proposal, it is important for us to get information out to
the campus community, and hear feedback about our proposal.
CHECK OUT OUR PSA with Wolfie!
In simple terms, here are the proposal options:
- Tobacco-Free: The use of tobacco, smokeless tobacco, or unregulated nicotine products (i.e. e-cigarettes) would be strictly prohibited in indoor and outdoor spaces owned or leased by WOU.
- Smoke-Free: Smoking would be prohibited in all indoor and outdoor spaces owned or leased by WOU. Smoking is defined as burning or vaporizing any type of tobacco or nicotine-containing product including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookahs, and e-cigarettes.
- Maintain our current policies: Western Oregon University prohibits smoking in any campus owned or operated building and within 10 feet of entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes of any owned or operated building. Smoking includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes, pipe tobacco, and loose tobacco.
What are some of the benefits of a tobacco-free campus?:
- A tobacco-free environment helps create a safer, healthier place to study and work.
- Students, staff and faculty who have serious medical reactions (asthma, allergies) to smoke will not be exposed to it at school/work.
Tobacco users who want to quit may have more of a reason to do so and will feel supported at school/work.
Students, faculty & staff may be less likely to miss classes or work due to tobacco-related illnesses.
Maintenance costs go down when tobacco, smoke, matches, and cigarette butts are taken out of campus outdoor facilities.
Other Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How will the policy be enforced?
We are an institution of higher education therefore education is key to implementing this policy. We make people aware of the tobacco-free environment through electronic messaging, signage, notices in event programs and marketing. An explanation of the tobacco-free campus policy is communicated to prospective and enrolling students and new employees. Additionally, we ask event planners to include about the policy in materials distributed to all outside groups that use university facilities. The expectation is that persons will voluntarily comply with the policy. It is the responsibility of everyone on campus to politely inform others of the policy and ask that they put out their cigarette and/or stop using tobacco products on campus.
Q: Will the use of e-cigarettes be permitted?
A: No. The FDA does not consider e-cigarettes to be a safe nicotine delivery system or smoking cessation strategy and their use is prohibited on university property for purposes of this policy. However, other forms of approved nicotine replacement therapy such as gum and patches are available through working with a medical provider in the Student Health and Counseling Center, or through your PEBB benefits. See FDA information on e-cigarettes.
Q: Why are we becoming a smoke and tobacco free campus?
A: The scientific evidence on the health risks associated with tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke are well documented. By implementing the Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus Policy, Western Oregon University is seeking to enhance the health of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. Also, Governor Kitzhaber signed an Executive Order for all state agencies to be tobacco free. Creating a tobacco free campus will improve health, wellness, and productivity.
Q: Is a Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy a violation of civil and Constitutional rights?
A: No. There is no Constitutional right to smoke or use tobacco. Tobacco users are not a category protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, nor is tobacco use a protected liberty right under the Due Process clause of the Constitution.
Q: Is there cessation support available for faculty, staff or students?
A: For students, they may receive services from the Student Health and Counseling Center by calling to make an appointment, or stop by to pick up a free quit support kit. For faculty and staff, they can review resources provided from their insurance program and/or use local and State resources.
Q: If I choose to continue to smoke or use tobacco and do not have enough time to step off campus to smoke what am I supposed to do?
A: The University is aware that nicotine is a highly addictive drug and simply waiting until lunch-time or after work will be difficult for some. We encourage the use of a nicotine replacement product such as the gum or lozenge for times that are inconvenient to smoke or use smokeless tobacco.
Q: What about the University neighbors?
A: WOU asks that our students, faculty and staff help maintain a positive relationship with our neighbors that border the campus. We encourage you to respect other’s property by not littering and not congregating in areas to smoke and thus creating a cloud that others must walk through. We will be reaching out to our neighbors and informing them of the upcoming policy and encouraging open communication if a problem arises.
Some of this material is revised and reviewed from other campus policies and practices:
University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Eastern Oregon University, and University of Texas
Please take a minute to fill out our survey to provide your level of support and share your thoughts
Recent Campus Feedback:
OTHER SHCC UPDATES & EVENTS:
In case you didn't know, in 2013-2014 the WOU Peer Mentor Program partnered with Maps Credit Union
36 Students are now trained in educating their peers on financial wellness and education, and host events throughout the year,
while also working in on-campus communities with first-year students.
WOU Green Dot Program is in full swing, with lots of opportunities to get involved or trained!
The WOU Green Dot Program continues to grow! We now have several trainers that will be offering 2 Bystander Trainings to students, faculty, and staff throughout each term. Please contact Craig Wimmer, Green Dot Coordinator for more information
Check out the Green Dot website for more info: www.wou.edu/greendot
Check out WOU's Health and Wellness E-Magazine