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Jacksonville University to become smoke-free Aug. 7

Jacksonville University to become smoke-free Aug. 7

Jacksonville University will become a smoke-free campus effective Aug. 7, prohibiting all lighted tobacco products on all property owned, operated, leased, occupied or controlled by the University.

“At JU, we believe a healthy campus is a dynamic, productive campus, and being smoke-free adds powerfully to that vital culture we’ve embraced here,” said JU President Tim Cost. “Adopting this policy builds on our already strong commitment to consistently providing a safe, vibrant and healthy learning environment where everyone can grow and succeed.”

The new policy applies to all campus community members and outside visitors and guests. That includes students, employees, consultants, contractors and visitors, as well as representatives of companies renting University-owned space or property that is owned or managed by JU.

Creation of the policy, which is consistent with other higher education institutions across Florida and the nation, was the result of a JU community-wide effort that featured discussions and input from students, faculty and staff. It is aligned with JU’s new Healthy Campus Program, which promotes a culture of wellness, helps identify health priorities and advocates for policies and services supporting health and wellness.

The new policy reads in part:

“Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. (www.cdc.gov) Research findings confirm, and the U.S. Surgeon General affirms, that tobacco use and exposures to secondhand smoke by non-users constitute a significant health hazard. (www.surgeongeneral.gov) Jacksonville University is invested in protecting the health and well-being of its employees, students and visitors. Adoption of a smoke-free policy has the potential to reduce maintenance costs, improve productivity, reduce initiation of new tobacco users and increase tobacco-cessation rates.”

To help those who may desire help quitting tobacco, Jacksonville University’s Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences has a partnership with the local Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to provide the JU campus community assistance in signing up for a free six-week Group Quit class. These classes are held at many locations throughout the community, including the Arlington area. Class participants receive the tools and support to help them begin a tobacco-free life. Each participant also receives a four-week supply of nicotine replacement patches, lozenges or gum. For more information, call the local AHEC at (904) 482-0189.

This program is part of the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida, a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. In addition to the Group Quit, there are other free tools available to help tobacco users quit, including single two-hour sessions, phone help and web-based help. For more information, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway. 

Updated signage across campus will alert the JU community and visitors to the new policy. Definitions, procedures and enforcement of the new policy can be read below. Beginning Aug. 7, the same detailed policy information can be found by visiting the University Policies page of JU’s Student Handbook at http://www.ju.edu/greenpages/university-policies.php.

Jacksonville University
Smoke Free Campus Policy
________________________________________________________

Objective:

Jacksonville University is invested in maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our students, employees, alumni and visitors. Research shows that the smoking of tobacco products constitutes a significant health hazard. The smoking of tobacco products has been specifically identified as a contributing factor in a number of university facility fires across the nation, many of which have resulted in fatalities or major damage.

Rationale:

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. (www.cdc.gov)

Research findings confirm, and the U.S. Surgeon General affirms, that tobacco use and exposures to secondhand smoke by non-users constitute a significant health hazard. (www.surgeongeneral.gov)

Jacksonville University is invested in protecting the health and well-being of its employees, students and visitors.

Adoption of a smoke-free policy has the potential to reduce maintenance costs, improve productivity, reduce initiation of new tobacco users and increase tobacco-cessation rates. (www.cdc.gov)

Through the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act, the state of Florida acknowledges that lighted tobacco products constitute significant health hazards to users and non-users. (www.leg.state.fl.us)

Lighted tobacco products are also a safety concern since they have been identified as contributing factors in numerous accidental fires. Currently 766 college campuses in the U.S. have adopted tobacco-free related policies. (http.tobaccofreecampus.org)

Policy:

Effective August 7, 2017, Jacksonville University shall be a “smoke-free” campus, and prohibits the use of all lighted tobacco products on all property that is owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled by the University. “Property” for purposes of this policy includes:

a) Buildings, structures, enclosed bridges and walkways, university carts and vehicles, personal vehicles in these areas, and any other indoor areas owned or managed by the university.

b) Parking lots, parking garages or structures, grounds, sidewalks, rooftops, plazas, courtyards, entrance/exit ways, university-owned or -leased vehicles, and any other outdoor areas owned or managed by the university.

This policy applies to all Jacksonville University students, employees, consultants, contractors, visitors and external individuals, companies renting university-owned space, and property owned or managed by Jacksonville University.

Definitions:

1. “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product, including marijuana, intended for inhalation in any manner or form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an e-cigarette that creates a vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this policy.

2. “Tobacco Products” means all forms of tobacco, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookah), e-cigarettes (any device intended to simulate smoking).

3. “Members of the University community” include its faculty, staff, students, volunteers, customers and visitors.

4. “Property” includes buildings, structures, grounds, parking lots or structures, enclosed bridges and walkways, sidewalks, university carts and vehicles, as well as personal vehicles in these areas.

Procedures:

Effective August 7, 2017:

  • All designated smoking areas will be eliminated.
  • All ash receptacles will be removed.

Enforcement:

Students

Violations of the policy will be addressed in accordance with current University policies and procedures. Accordingly, students may expect a University response under the student code of conduct. The University encourages students to engage in an approach of collective responsibility to hold each student accountable to smoke free policy expectations. Additionally, traditional reporting resources of Campus Security and Residential Life are available for support and enforcement of the policy.

Employees

Violations of this university policy that involve employees should be reported to the employee’s immediate supervisor or department head to be formally addressed. Reports that are unable to be resolved through intervention at the department level may involve the office of Human Resources. The University also encourages employees to engage in an approach of collective responsibility to hold each employee accountable to smoke free policy expectations.

Visitors

Visitors and vendors on campus may not be knowledgeable of the policy. The campus community shares the responsibility to respectfully edify them that Jacksonville University is a smoke-free campus. Campus Security is to be notified in situations involving visitors, including vendors, observed to be using smoke or tobacco products, and who fail to comply after being advised of the policy. Further refusal to respect the policy may result in a visitor or vendor being required to leave campus. Additionally, members of the campus community will be held accountable for the behavior and conduct of their guests/visitors while they are on University property. All visitors/guests are expected to adhere to all University policies.

Campus Security retains authority to directly enforce adherence to this policy at all times with any and all campus constituents. However, it remains the University’s expectation for compliance to be assured through the shared responsibility of the Jacksonville University community.

Exceptions:

The smoking of tobacco products may be permitted for controlled research with prior approval of the Provost, the Institutional Review Board, and the Dean of Students.

Tobacco use and/or smoking on campus may be permitted for educational or religious ceremonial purposes with prior approval of the Provost and Dean of Students.