“In terms of electronic cigarettes, state statute or city ordinance doesn’t cover that but the university policy does… Whether you’re a faculty member, a staff member, a student, or a member of the general public, it applies to you.” ~ Ed Howell (FHSU chief of police)

Fort Hays State University received a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation last summer leading to the creation of a “Tobacco Policy Task Force.” The group hopes to achieve a tobacco-free culture on campus within a year (target date, June, 2016).

Here’s what you need to know:

(1.) It will be a no-tolerance initiative…
No form of tobacco use will be exempt anywhere on campus (native american ceremonial use is the only exception)… and yes, that includes vapor systems. The task force cites two reasons for the vapor system ban, a.) vapes used as smoking cessation aids do not have FDA approval (formaldehyde exposure is currently under investigation), b.) all manner of dangerous mind altering substances could be ingested with a vaping system. And… well… you know… war on drugs… etc.

(2) The student body has spoken…
Results of a series of campus-wide surveys (total = n970) show a slim majority among students (n545) in favor a complete ban.

(3) The policy will be self-enforced…
A “report-a-violation” website will be provided for calling out offenders. This system will automatically notify the violator via email.

(4) There will be a cultural “awareness” effort…
…including, a.) information about the health and “social justice” factors considered by the task force, b.) training on how to talk to smokers who violate the policy, and c.) the distribution of information about support mechanisms available to smokers aiming to quit (no… not vapor systems).

(5) KBOR encourages ALL regents schools to go smoke-free as soon as possible. According to Student Government President, Arin Powers, other Kansas regents schools are in various stages of progress toward achieving their “smoke free campus” initiatives… these initiatives have the encouragement and support of the Kansas Board of Regents.

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