It's official: Stetson University now a tobacco- and smoke-free campus

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 3:10 PM EDT

Stetson University's residential campuses in DeLand and Gulfport will be tobacco- and smoke-free effective Aug. 1.

With this declaration, Stetson University joins a growing list of colleges and universities across the country enacting a policy to prohibit smoking and tobacco-related products.

All forms of tobacco use are prohibited, including e-cigarettes and a variety of smokeless products, in Stetson buildings, structures, grounds, parking lots and in university and personal vehicles while on Stetson grounds.

"This is an exciting time for Stetson University as we kick off a new academic year," said President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D. "With Stetson's institutional values commitments that focus on the development of the whole person, it is imperative that our campuses provide a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors. I am proud of the work of so many who advocated for and led us to becoming tobacco- and smoke-free."

Stetson began implementing smoking restrictions in 2007 by banning smoking near buildings and air vents. The new policy is the result of several years of research, focus groups and a university task force that determined that smoking was inconsistent with the values of the university. Stetson's commitment to values like health and wellness includes protecting non-smokers and also supporting smokers in reconsidering a behavior that has been scientifically proven to have serious long-term health consequences.

Since that time, Stetson has offered a variety of resources to help members of the Stetson University community quit smoking. These resources have included a series of informational sessions, health fairs, human resource training sessions, free education programs about smoking and free resources for those who want to quit, including cessation products and classes. More information about Stetson University’s tobacco/smoke-free programs can be found at stetson.edu/breathe-free.

Compliance with this new policy rests with all members of the Stetson community. Community members are empowered to respectfully inform others about the policy and the ongoing effort to enhance awareness of and encourage compliance with this policy. More information about compliance is covered in the policy section of the university’s Breathe-Free website.