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Pittsburg State takes another step on tobacco policy - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg State takes another step on tobacco policy

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY

Campus takes another step on tobacco policy

Pittsburg State University’s ongoing march to becoming a tobacco-free campus took another step forward recently with the President’s Council’s approval of a report by the Tobacco Policy Task Force.

Over the coming months, officials said, work will shift from adoption of the tobacco-free policy to preparing the campus for its implementation in 2015.

“President Scott will now appoint an executive tobacco policy work group to consider a campus communication plan; develop training for staff, students and the community; provide cessation support services for tobacco users; and develop compliance policies,” said Rita Girth, who with Jim Triplett led the Tobacco Policy Task Force.

One immediate effect of the report’s approval is the inclusion of e-cigarettes under the current campus tobacco policy. That means that e-cigarettes will be treated the same as all tobacco products.

Triplett and Girth said they expected a “soft implementation” of the new tobacco policy in the spring semester of 2015, with full implementation by summer.

Pittsburg State began considering its tobacco policies in 2012 when a student referendum indicated strong support for making the campus tobacco free. President Steve Scott formed the Tobacco Policy Task Force later that year to look at the issue.

The task force studied the issue for seven months, assisted by Ty Patterson, the director of the National Center for Tobacco Policy. They surveyed campus knowledge and attitudes about tobacco use and conducted open forums as they considered the various options available to the campus.

“This has been a time-consuming and deliberate process,” Triplett said, “because we wanted to make sure to get the best data available and allow as much conversation as possible.”

Triplett and Girth said the new Tobacco Policy Work Group will be charged with working out many of the details of the implementation.

“Education and communication will be critical to the successful implementation of the new tobacco policy,” Girth said. “By working this far in advance, we hope the campus will be well prepared for the new policy to take effect in 2015.”

Nationwide, more than 800 colleges and universities have adopted tobacco-free policies.

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