Published On: Sat, Jul 23rd, 2016

Lynn goes smoke and tobacco free in August

smoke free zone picBy CRA News Service

Students at Lynn University will soon have to smoke tobacco products off campus thanks to a student-led initiative, which takes effect Aug. 1.

The move is intended to safeguard the well-being of Lynn’s students, employees and the community at large, university officials said.

“This was the first issue our student government, the Knights of the Roundtable (KOR), wished to tackle when they organized in 2012,” said Phil Riordan, vice president for Student Affairs, according to a release on the school’s website. “Our adoption of the policy is a reflection of the hard work these students put into surveying their peers, speaking with faculty and proposing the new policy to the Cabinet.”

About 500 campuses across the country have enacted 100 percent smoke-free or tobacco-free policies as of July 1 and about1,000 are being fully tobacco-free, according to a report from American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, an educational nonprofit organization.

Although policy enforcement varies from school to school, most prohibit smoking on all campus grounds, including athletic stadiums, restaurants and parking lots.

The report also said that a rapidly growing number of campuses (710) now prohibit the use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, anywhere on campus.

The notion of 100 percent smoke-free campuses began popping up across the United States in the early 2000s.

Florida Atlantic University implemented a tobacco-free policy across all campuses on Jan. 1, 2015 to create a healthier environment for all students, faculty, employees, vendors and visitors, according to the university’s website.

Lynn instituted three designated smoking zones in 2014, which was warmly received by students and faculty members, according to the release. KOR then put the idea of a completely smoke- and tobacco-free campus to a vote with the student body, which received overwhelming support, officials said. The university’s Cabinet endorsed the results this month. 

David Gibson, a KOR member, said they wanted to learn what the Lynn community thought about smoking, and they realized that a great majority of students and faculty were in favor of going smoke-free simply for the health benefits, according to the release.

We are proud Lynn will be a smoke- and tobacco-free campus next academic year, Gibson was quoted in the release.

Lynn understands that establishing a smoke- and tobacco-free campus may be a hardship for smokers and for those attempting to quit, university officials said.

Tobacco cessation programs and resources are available for students, via the Health Center, and employees, via Employee Services, who wish to quit smoking (or using other tobacco products). For more information, visit lynn.edu/policy.

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