MU officials have announced the implementation of a new campus-wide tobacco free policy.
Five years ago, MU went smoke-free, but university officials announced a more comprehensive, new policy Monday. The ban of tobacco products and smoking includes MU stadiums, parking structures, and campus housing.
Violators of the policy will be given a warning, as well as educational materials on the risks of using tobacco. Repeated violations may result in disciplinary actions by MU.
The Tobacco Free Mizzou Committee crafted the new policy and was approved by university administration in June. Since the policy was announced, MU officials said the committee will now focus on posting new signage and rolling out different social media campaigns to educate people on campus of the tobacco-free initiative.
Kevin Everett is an associate professor of Family and Community Medicine and chaired the tobacco-free committee. He said the new policy is in the best interest of the campus by addressing all tobacco products.
“There’s a lot of changes [as] the industry is putting out new products and we want to be able to keep our policy in line with what’s going to happen in the future.”
Along with the committee’s initiatives to spread the word of the tobacco-free policy, there will be Tobacco-Wellness Student Ambassadors to monitor usage on campus. Sonia Clark is a senior at MU and one of those ambassadors. She said she is excited to be a part of the efforts to promote a healthier campus community.
“We really work to talk to people,” Clark said. “If we see someone on campus, we will go up, have a conversation about not only can you please abide by the policy, but we will also work to tell them about the resources available in order for them to be able to take that first initiative into stopping and quitting.”
MU officials said the new policy will help create a healthier and safer community for students, faculty, and visitors. The university will join 1,700 other campuses nation-wide, including dozens in the state.
This story has been updated to reflect that the university's policy changes are already in effect.