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University of Iowa News Release

 

Dec. 7, 2006

UI Committee Forwards Recommendations To Ban Smoking On Campus

A University of Iowa committee charged with reviewing the campus' smoking policies has forwarded to UI Interim President Gary Fethke several recommendations, including the eventual designation of all UI buildings and grounds as smoke-free areas.

Fethke, in turn, is asking faculty, staff and students to provide him with feedback on the Smoking Policy Review Committee's report by April 1, 2007 as a final step toward implementation. Email comments to him at mailto:president@uiowa.edu.

The full report is available online at http://www.uiowa.edu/president/task-forces/smoking_policy/smoking_policy_recommend_111606.pdf.

Fethke praised the committee for its work, which he said would go a long way toward providing faculty, staff and students with a campus environment and culture that promotes healthy living.

"Everyone recognizes how difficult it is for people to quit smoking, which is why I'm so pleased that the committee has put great emphasis in its report on the need to cultivate and promote smoking cessation programs alongside its call for more restrictive rules on smoking," he said. "This way the entire university community - as well as individual smokers - benefits."

The committee's recommendations include:

--All residents of University Apartments who choose to live in a smoke-free building should be accommodated by the beginning of the fall semester, 2007.

--All University Apartment building should be smoke-free by the fall semester, 2008.

--On-stage performances should stop using tobacco products and instead use tobacco-free substitutes by July 2007 or as soon as an acceptable substitute is available.

--The current restriction of a 25-foot smoke-free perimeter around entrances to and exits from buildings should be expanded on July 1, 2007 to a 25-foot perimeter around the entire perimeter of all campus buildings, including athletic facilities, parking ramps and enclosed parking facilities.

--Two years after the 25-foot smoke-free perimeter is implemented, the campus should become entirely smoke-free in both the internal and external environment.

--A broad range of educational activities is needed to create awareness of the regulations and expectations for behavior.

--Resources to assist with smoking cessation should continue to be available to all members of the campus community.

The committee urged Fethke to complete an "immediate and wide review of these recommendations" by the end of the spring 2007 semester and said that new restrictions should be implemented "in a timely manner."

The committee also urged the formation of a work group to ensure that the new policies are carried out. The group would focus on communication in support of the new policy, including education related to enforcement and the promotion of resources to help current smokers quit.

Former UI President David Skorton created the ad hoc committee in December 2005 to revisit the university smoking policy. Since its first meeting in February 2006, the committee has solicited feedback from across campus through open forums with students, faculty and staff; input via email; and contact with the three major governance groups and top administrators. The committee also examined scientific literature on the risks posed to people exposed to second-hand smoke and benchmarked other higher education institutions regarding smoking policies.

On Feb. 28, 2006, the committee recommended that the Health Science colleges be allowed to proceed with developing a plan for a smoke-free health science campus policy. And on Aug. 14, with Fethke's approval, the committee announced an interim measure that no smoking be allowed within 25 feet of all occupied campus building entrances and exits, to include enclosed parking ramp stair towers, elevators and their lobbies not already covered by the UI Hospitals and Clinics campus smoke-free policy.

The committee is composed of Susan Buckley, associate vice president for finance and operations, UI Human Resources; Nancy Davin (Staff Council appointee), administrative assistant II, Student Health Service; Susan Johnson, associate provost for faculty, Office of the Provost; Wilfrid Nixon (Faculty Senate appointee), professor, civil-environmental engineering; Amanda Russell (Student Government appointee), graduate student, Health Management and Policy; and Joni Troester (presidential appointee), director of UI Wellness, Organizational Effectiveness.

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972; Writer: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.