Kent State Addresses Progress in Tobacco Ban on Campus

Written by on March 16, 2018

Universities around the country are banning tobacco on campuses. The Ohio Department of Higher Education says Kent State is the 26th college in Ohio to do just that. Kent State has made progress in the last six months, but future maintenance of the policy remains.

In the middle of winter, you’ll always see that one person lighting up in below freezing weather, but not at Kent State. The university’s no-smoking policy has been in affect since July 2017 and, with six months in, it seems to be working.

The peer-enforced policy covers all properties leased and owned by Kent State and prohibits any students, employees, or visitors to its campuses from using smoking or tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Scott Dotterer is the Coordinator in the Office of Health Promotion. He says the previous year was about research into the specifics of the policy and communication with those it would affect, as well as adverting the coming changes.

“Kent State was very, very proactive with going through all the channels, getting the Board of Trustees approval, utilizing an entire year to have a task force to look at this carefully, to be sensitive to people who are smokers to give them plenty of time to be prepared that this is coming—and Kent State did so much advertisement with that, but then, having the resources be in place that if people want to quit, it’s certainly there for them.”

The Office of Health Promotion has resources available for students and faculty looking to quit, including smoking cessation sessions as well as other resource links and apps on the website.

With much of the groundwork laid in 2016, Dotterer says a subcommittee meeting will be scheduled for this semester to discuss the success of the last six months and the improvements that still need to be made.

“Do we need more advertisement? Do we need more promotion about the smoking cessation services that are offered? What is it we can do to be helpful? So the policy is already in place, like so many policies that are here on this campus: you monitor and look to see if there is anything to help promote it or direct people who have questions that that can be done as well.”

The website states the policy is not only in line with university goals for a healthy campus, but also aligns with university president Beverly Warren’s strategic plan for Kent State, which just this week announced a 1.2 billion dollar renovation to the main campus over the next decade.

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