ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — On Saturday, Ohio University began its transition to becoming a tobacco-free campus.
University officials said the policy, based on recommendations from the Ohio Board of Regents, went into full effect on August 1. The policy bans all nicotine, tobacco-derived or containing products from the Athens campus facilities, property, sidewalks and grounds.
“It is very exciting to see the Tobacco-Free Policy come to fruition,” stated Ann Addington, assistant director of health promotion and a member of the Tobacco-Free Task Force, in a news release. “Through its implementation, Ohio University joins over 1,500 universities nationwide to promote an environment of wellness for its students, staff, faculty and visitors. As the University adapts to being tobacco-free, the Task Force will continue to evaluate the policy’s effectiveness and address any compliance issues that may arise.”
Officials said the Tobacco-Free Policy was created with the help of the Tobacco-Free Task Force, comprised of University employees and students from different stakeholder groups on campus who have researched benchmark institutions, implemented campus surveys and spearheaded efforts to communicate about the upcoming policy over the past three years.
The policy is part of a major wellness initiative for all members of the Ohio University community. Free tobacco cessation classes are available for both students and employees this fall. Class schedules can be found on the Tobacco-Free website under resources at www.ohio.edu/tobacco-free.
Officials said the policy is based on a philosophy of respect for others and the environment.