- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Wichita State University plans to implement a ban on tobacco use on campus in 2017.

Students, faculty, staff members and visitors won’t be allowed to use tobacco on the university campus starting July 1. The new policy includes cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes. People will be allowed to smoke in designated outdoor areas during sporting events, with prior approval from the university, according to the Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/2eiHKlx ).

Student-run organization Tobacco Free Wu & Me has led efforts to ban tobacco on campus. Emma Crabtree, the vice president for the group, said the July start date will give the organization time to publicize the policy. She said the organization examined attitudes toward tobacco-free policies, and found almost 65 percent of the university’s students and employees would prefer a tobacco-free campus.

Tobacco Free Wichita coalition coordinator Tara Nolen said although efforts for tobacco-free campuses are more successful when driven by students, the process can be difficult because of the natural turnover from student graduation. Nolen added that tobacco-free campuses are important because many students experiment with cigarettes during their time in college, due to stress or through their social life.

“They consider themselves social smokers or say, ‘Oh, I’ll give this up after college,’ and that tends to not be the case,” she said. “I really think it’s (the policy) going to change that culture.”

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com


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