Students, staff and faculty who are smokers at Ohio State might have to throw away their cigs and lighters, as the University is considering moving to a 100 per cent smoke-free environment. “Our main goal is to become the healthiest university on the globe,” declared Bernadette Melnyk, the dean of the College of Nursing, in a recent email. “It will improve everyone’s health and wellness. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable incidence and mortality in the U.S.” Tobacco smoking would be banned anywhere on university property including extension offices and regional campuses, she declared but added that off-campus places would not be affected.
“Smoke-free laws and norms reduce the initiation, influence and intensity of smoking habit in young adults,” she explained.
Faculty and staff would also have to fulfill with the new legislation if accepted, Melnyk reported.
“Workplace smoking prohibits reduce the influence of smoking and daily tobacco consumption,” she added.
Support was generated from faculty, staff and students for the university to become smoke-free since the Wexner Medical Center did so in 2006, according to the OSU’s tobacco-free proposal website.
Recommendations for universities and colleges to go smoke-free have also been made from the Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Board of Education, the State of Ohio Healthy Ohio Program and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to the website.
While tobacco use would be banned, OSU would also reduce its association with the tobacco company, Melnyk said. “There will be no tobacco ads on university property, at events or media,” she said, adding that donations, gifts or sponsorship that are associated with the tobacco industry would not be accepted, except for study.