Central Michigan University to become tobacco free on July 1

CMU will join 800 tobacco-free colleges and universities across nation
CMU wordmark

Central Michigan University will join nearly 800 other tobacco-free colleges and universities across the nation July 1, 2014, as part of its commitment to providing a healthy environment for learning, living and working.

The new policy, “A Breath of Fresh Air,” will eliminate the use of tobacco products anywhere on campus, indoors or outdoors.

“The health and well-being of all students and employees is a top priority,” President George Ross said. “We want to provide everyone with a chance to attend school, live and work in a safe and healthy environment.”

CMU’s current smoke-free policy has been in effect since 1992, prohibiting smoking in all buildings and university vehicles, as well as within 25 feet from any entrance, exit, air intake duct or window of a university building. The idea to change the policy originated from students, said Lori Hella, associate vice president of human resources.

“The tobacco-free policy was created with input from a work group that included representatives from each employee group on campus, as well as representation from the Student Government Association and Residence Hall Assembly,” Hella said. “It’s going to make CMU’s campus a cleaner, healthier place.”

In a campuswide survey conducted last February, nearly 70 percent of the more than 4,500 students, faculty and staff who responded favored a smoke- or tobacco-free campus.

The policy will prohibit the use of any form of tobacco on campus, including traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes, cigars, hookahs, waterpipes, snus and snuff. Exceptions may be made for theatrical productions, as well as religious rituals, ceremonies and cultural and ethnic events. Tobacco use will be permitted only in privately owned vehicles with closed windows.

“CMU community members will enforce the tobacco-free policy as a ‘good neighbor’ initiative,” Hella said. “After July 1, if we see someone using tobacco products in a restricted area, we’ll respectfully remind him or her of the policy.”

Further details about CMU’s current smoke-free policy and the new tobacco-free policy can be found here.