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President's Corner

A bi-weekly column from the Office of the President

Chaffee Announces Tobacco Free Campus Policy

Sep. 03, 2007 1:55 PM | Author: By Ellen-Earle Chaffee | Updated: Nov. 17th, 2008 9:08 AM
President Ellen-Earle Chaffee is pleased to announce that VCSU has adopted a new policy to become a "tobacco-free" campus effective January 1, 2008 (Policy V917).

This means that from that date forward, all tobacco use (including smoking and chewing tobacco) will be prohibited in all university owned or operated buildings, on all campus property and grounds, and in university owned, leased or operated vehicles. This extends our current policy (which prohibits smoking within campus buildings or within university owned vehicles) to prohibit tobacco use anywhere on VCSU grounds.

Chaffee is 'pleased to announce' for several reasons. This issue has been considered by several groups on campus including the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate, the Student Senate, and the Executive Team, and it has received very broad support. I am personally convinced that this policy represents a positive step we can take to combat the leading cause of illness and preventable death in this country.

At the same time, Chaffee realizes that this policy will cause an inconvenience for those of you who use tobacco. If you are among those who wish to quit your tobacco use, you may wish to take advantage of any of several tobacco cessation programs including:

-The NDPERS Tobacco Cessation Program, which makes up to $700 available to state employees and their dependents age 18 and older for tobacco cessation counseling, office visits, and medications. Information is available at https://www.bcbsnd.com/ehealth/ndpersquit/.

-The "Living Tobacco Free" tobacco cessation program, a free series of classes through the City County Health District. The next class will begin September 10, and new classes will begin as often as necessary. Information is available by calling 701-845-8595.

-The North Dakota Quit Line: Call 866-388-7848 (toll free) for professional, completely cost-free telephone counseling.

·In addition to the NDPERS tobacco-cessation benefit, several other avenues are available through which interested persons may be able to obtain reduced or cost-free cessation medications such as Chantix, Zyban, and nicotine-replacement patches. Gloria Pesek, Barnes County's tobacco cessation specialist, is available to help individuals access these resources. She can be reached at 701-845-8595 or 701-490-0227.

With this move, VCSU joins a rapidly growing trend towards tobacco-free campuses. Regionally, tobacco-free campus policies are already in effect at Jamestown College and Bismarck State College, and Minot State University has had its smoke-free campus policy in place since June, 2006. On October 5, the University of North Dakota will become a tobacco-free campus, and Minnesota State University Moorhead will follow suit on January 1.

President Chaffee hopes you join her in welcoming this change and the health benefits it is sure to provide!
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