Message to UMass Dartmouth Community on Campus-Wide Smoking Policy

Message from Mohammad Karim, Provost and V.C. for Academic and Student Affairs, Mark Preble, V.C. for Administration and Finance

After careful consideration of national trends and campus feedback, a committee of faculty, staff, and students has recommended that our campus go smoke-free, tobacco-free, and electronic cigarette-free scheduled to be effective June 1, 2015 and begin developing a robust and accessible smoking cessation program to help current smokers quit by the policy start date, which is more than a year away. 

We will be working with faculty, student, and union leadership on the details of implementing the new policy in a manner that leads to a healthier campus community. We are fortunate to have a very strong Health Services department and a national award-winning Peer Health Educator organization on campus to assist with the effort. 

The committee, co- chaired by Associate Vice Chancellor Student Affairs David Milstone and Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Carol Santos, came to its recommendation after conducting a campus-wide survey, reviewing literature on the issues, and meeting throughout the spring semester with members from all campus unions, members from the College of Nursing and University Health Services, and students appointed by the Student Government Association. 

It is important to note that a growing number of higher education institutions across the country and in Massachusetts have moved to become either smoke-free (1,182) or tobacco-free (798) and three states (Arkansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma) now require all of their campuses to be smoke-free. In Massachusetts, 10 of the 29 public institutions, including UMass Amherst, and several private institutions have become smoke-free. We believe this trend promotes campus health and UMass Dartmouth highly values the health and well-being of all of our members. 

While there was some consideration of allowing smoking in private vehicles, the clear consensus of the University leadership team is to draw a bright line on this issue by banning all smoking, tobacco, and e-cigarette products from the entire campus. This will make enforcement of the policy uniform and will, at the same time, eliminate troublesome littering issues. 

The committee membership included the following:: 

David Milstone - Co-Chair 
Carol Santos -Co-Chair 
Nick Gula - AFT Maintainer Union 
Lynn Flynn - AFSCME 
John Sousa - IBPO 
Sheila Dorgan - ESU (Health Services) 
Beth-Anne Vieira - ESU (Health Services) 
Breanna Labelle - student-at-large 
Amanda Tosswill - Student Government Association 
Jim Fain - Dean of Nursing 
Susan Leclair- Faculty Federation 

Today's announcement is an important first step in creating a healthier campus. Meetings with the various governance and stakeholder groups will be convened in the early fall to plan implementation strategies.

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