COLUMBIA, Mo. – Students, faculty, and even visitors will have to leave their tobacco products at the door when visiting the University of Missouri’s campus.
Chancellor Alexander Cartwright announced the new policy banning all tobacco use on Tuesday in order to “make the campus a healthy and safe place to learn, live and work.” Not only does it place a no smoking ban on the campus, but it also extends to chewing tobacco and e-cigarrettes as well. The ban had been approved by administrators back in June after the university had applied for and won a grant from the American Cancer Society last year to help implement the policy change.
The new policy was developed by the Tobacco Free Mizzou Committee, chaired by Kevin Everett, associate professor of Family and Community Medicine, after reviewing tobacco control best practices and model policies.
“Our efforts to monitor, promote, implement and enforce the tobacco-free policy can help reduce the prevalence of tobacco product use and promote a healthy campus culture,” Everett said. “Tobacco use is the single leading cause of preventable death in Missouri, with 11,000 deaths each year attributed to tobacco use.”
“We have great resources on campus already for students, staff, and faculty to promote a healthy lifestyle,” Cartwright said. “Becoming a tobacco-free campus will help us be a healthier place to work and to learn.”
Student Ambassadors from the Wellness Resource Center will help enforce the policy by notifying violators. In addition, members of the university community are encouraged to inform others about the policy or report concerns at tobaccofree.missouri.edu.
Those who violate the policy will be connected with free cessation resources. Organizers expect that the vast majority of violators can be addressed through warnings.
The smoking ban is nothing new, as MU first implemented such a ban back in 2013, but the total tobacco ban is new, joining roughly 50 other colleges and universities in Missouri banning all tobacco use.
The complete policy is listed in MU’s Business Policy and Procedure Online Manual.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.