DUBOIS – Penn State DuBois administration and Student Government Association have approved and begun to implement a three-year tobacco phase-out plan for the campus.
According to Libby Hoover, campus nurse, the discussion to phase out all tobacco, including cigarettes and chewing tobacco, was initiated a year ago by a student group called Students Working Against Tobacco. SWAT is a state organization headquartered at Clarion University which has representation from students in public schools, universities and colleges.
“There is a desire from the students here to eliminate exposure to secondary smoke,” Hoover said. “We have been working with our administration, who are supporting us in this effort. We have also gone to the SGA, advising them of our purpose and seeking their support. They are supportive and offered various opinions on smokers’ rights, the possibility of shelters, or how could smokers continue to be accommodated.”
As a result of the initiative and after considerable review of the Penn State University and campus policies on smoking and tobacco use, a three-year tobacco phase-out program was approved. Hoover said beginning with the 2006-07 academic year, tobacco users must be a minimum of 15 feet from any building doors or windows. Signs have been posted near every building to remind people of the new policy, purchased by funds made available by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Hoover said year two will limit smoking and tobacco use to specifically designated areas, eliminating smoking in the inner walkways and courtyards of the campus. Finally, in year three, tobacco use will be prohibited throughout the campus, she said.
Penn State DuBois wants to ensure the success of meeting the requirements to fulfill this policy, Hoover said, and will offer tobacco cessation classes, peer support programs, weekly professional counseling services, weekly family practitioner services and other health services, including prescription treatment options.
For more information on these services, contact Hoover at 375-4765.