ISU Goes Smokeless

Reported by: Phil Campbell
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Updated: 8/22/2012 6:56 pm

Effective Sept. 1, Idaho State University will be a smoke free campus.  The decision came after reviewing the survey results of faculty, staff and students who were asked about ISU’s role in regard to smoking and whether ISU should be smoke free.

If you’ve been to Holt Arena for an event, you may have noticed smokers periodically exiting the building to light up but now they’ll have to walk much further.

In less than two weeks, smoking will be banned from ISU’s campus and that includes Holt Arena and Reed Gym. Smoking has been banned inside these facilities for many years but now the area surrounding them will be off limits to smokers as well.

The decision comes after the recommendation of ASISU, nearly a year ago, in which they urged the University to adopt the rule. They cited research done by ISU’s Public Health Program which indicates that less than 9 percent of ISU’s community smokes on a daily basis.

In addition to this low number of smokers, they say 60.7 percent of people on campus are in favor of the ban. The numbers are consistent with previous surveys conducted by the Southeastern Idaho Public Health Department.

To help ease the transition, smoking cessation workshops will be available through Student Health Services and the ISU Wellness Center. In addition, smoking cessation patches are covered by the Student Health Fee for students and by the University’s health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Idaho.

There was some discussion about a modified smoke-free campus but in the end they felt that allowing smoking anywhere on campus defeated the purpose of having clean air environments. And building external structures for smoking limited to certain areas of the campus seemed a poor choice of resources.

ISU President Arthur C. Vailas said “As the higher education institution in Idaho that offers the largest number of programs in the health professions, this new policy is consistent with our focus on health and wellness.”

There are over 800 post-secondary institutions that have also made the decision to make their campuses smoke free.

The Health Department is also offering a free tobacco cessation class and you can find more information at this link.

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