West Virginia University reminds employees, students and visitors that tobacco use will be prohibited on the Morgantown campus beginning Monday (July 1).

The WVU Board of Governors approved the ban June 2012, expanding a similar policy for the Health Sciences campus enacted in 2010.

The policy will extend to all premises owned, operated, leased or occupied by WVU.

Signs posted at vehicular and pedestrian entryways into campus will remind everyone that the University is tobacco-free. The policy will also be posted on appropriate WVU websites.

The recommendation for a tobacco-free policy came from a constituency-based task force comprising faculty, staff and students. The task force provided routine updates of its work, and held public forums on campus to gather input. The task force’s recommendation for a tobacco-free policy required Board of Governors approval.

C.B. Wilson, associate provost for academic personnel, who chaired the task force, believes “it will take time for the campus community to adapt to the new policy, and we hope the entire community will cooperate during the period of adjustment.”

“I noted that a similar adjustment period was required when the campus buildings were declared smoke-free in 1990,” he said.

The University has created an email account for where anyone, including visitors, can send comments, suggestions or observations. The email address is: vpaf@mail.wvu.edu .

The new policy followed a formal, 30-day public comment period, was revised, and re-posted before going before the Board. The same process was followed in the Health Sciences policy as well.

The policy includes an exemption that can be requested for events that attract a large number of off-campus visitors, with the approval of the vice president for administration and finance, provided smoking is restricted to designated outdoor smoking areas.

The current policy does not extend to the divisional campuses; however, the president has the authority to extend it once appropriate input and comment has been obtained.

Cessation programs and resources will also be available to employees and students. To learn about these options, visit the WVU Healthcare Wellness Program’s cessation page or the WVU Employee Wellness cessation section.

Those programs are free for employees or are reimbursable by insurance. Students can utilize cessation programs through WELLWVU.

The Prevention Research Center within the WVU School of Public Health is also offering workshop options. For more information on those, go to http://employeewellness.wvu.edu/tobacco_cessation/tobacco-cessation-workshops.

WVU joins a growing list of tobacco-free campuses across the country. According to an April 2013 report by the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, 1,159 campuses in the U.S. are smoke-free. Of that, 783 are tobacco-free. In addition, Arkansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma require that all public institutions be smoke-free.

The policy is available at http://bog.wvu.edu/r/download/132220.



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