MTSU adopts 'tobacco-free campus' policy

On June 15, the University announced it will join other institutions across the state and nation in establishing a "tobacco-free campus" policy that will restrict the use of all forms of tobacco on MTSU property. Here is President Sidney A. McPhee's note to the University community that explains how the policy will be implemented.

June 15, 2011

To the University community,

Several revisions to our policies and recommendations were released today. Among them is a policy for our campus to become tobacco free, meaning the use of all forms of tobacco products will be prohibited on University property. This policy becomes effective July 1, the beginning of our new fiscal year.

As you may know, Tennessee law already prohibits smoking in all buildings owned or operated by the state, which includes any University owned or leased facilities, vehicles and athletic venues. The old policy previously allowed smoking 20 feet away from doorways, windows, ventilation systems, walkways and gates.

Our new policy will restrict the use of all forms of tobacco products including, but not limited to, cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff, as well as smokeless electronic cigarettes and other similar devices. It does allow the use of tobacco products in private vehicles. You can read the complete policy here: /policies/general-policies/I-01-03.php

We at MTSU are not alone in making such a move. More than 400 colleges and universities across the nation are completely smoke-free on their campuses. Across the state, universities like Austin Peay, Tennessee Tech and East Tennessee State have enacted similar policies.

However, while our new policy technically goes into effect July 1, I have asked that implementation be delayed until Jan. 1, 2012, to allow a period of transition for us to educate the University community about the policy and provide support to those who wish to cease tobacco usage.

More information will be coming shortly from our various groups working on implementation. Meanwhile, if you would like to learn more about resources currently available, please visit our MTSU Health Promotion website at http://www.mtsu.edu/healthpro/tobacco.php.

Sincerely,
Sidney A. McPhee
President
Middle Tennessee State University