According to the American Lung Association, over 259 college campuses in the United States are now or will soon be tobacco free. Tobacco-free policies are in force at Montana Tech and the Helena College of Technology. The University of Montana campus will become tobacco free upon the first day of the fall 2011 semester. The Montana Western draft policy, Draft Policy 100.1 – Tobacco Free Campus, will replace Montana Western’s current tobacco policy, Policy 100.1 – Tobacco Use.
The proposed policy had its beginnings in fall 2008 when a UMW Tobacco Free Task Force (TFTF) was formed to explore current research on the health effects of tobacco use for educational purposes, as well as to begin creating a campus cessation program to help current tobacco users quit. The TFTF included Montana Western staff, administrators, faculty and students, and was open to the public. Task force efforts were part of the Montana Collegiate Tobacco Prevention Initiative. The group began collecting data on campus tobacco use and attitudes in spring 2009. In concert with the Initiative, the TFTF conducted two Tobacco Use and Attitude Surveys. In fall 2009, the group unanimously decided to begin the process of moving Montana Western toward becoming a tobacco-free campus. In the meantime task force members continued to conduct campus-wide surveys on student, staff and faculty attitudes towards tobacco on campus. With the help of a Montana Western health and human performance class, the TFTF conducted a survey with over 400 members of the campus community; nearly 80 percent favored a tobacco-free campus. In an effort to reach out to the 20 percent of respondents who expressed concerns in the survey, TFTF members created anonymous comment boxes on the subject, placed them around campus, compiled the data from the boxes and organized a “Big Six” fact sheet to address campus concerns. The group also held a campus-wide forum in February 2010 and continued to facilitate campus dialogues on tobacco use with various groups on campus including the Associated Students of the University of Montana Western (ASUMW), Montana Western Senior Staff, and the Montana Western Faculty Association. In May 2010, ASUMW member Brett Christian delivered a policy proposal on behalf of the TFTF to Montana Western Chancellor Richard Storey recommending the campus become tobacco free.
In summer 2010, Chancellor Storey formed an Ad-Hoc Committee on Tobacco including both smokers and non-smokers. The committee represented the TFTF, the UMW faculty association, UMW staff and ASUMW. The committee met from September to November 2010. In November 2010, the committee unanimously recommended that Montana Western become tobacco free. On Jan. 18, the University Council unanimously supported implementation of the plan. Chancellor Storey signed the new policy on Feb. 4, 2011.
Please contact the following administrators to report on-campus violations of the Montana Western tobacco policy:
For student violations, contact Dean of Students Nicole Hazelbaker at (406) 683-7900.
For faculty violations, contact Provost Karl Ulrich at (406)683-7115.
For staff violations, contact Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance Susan Briggs at (406) 683-7031.
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