Brief Smoke-Free History at UM
In the fall of 2007, the University adopted Tobacco Use Policy CHA.AM.100.100 limiting the use of tobacco products on the Ole Miss campus to “designated tobacco-use areas.” Over time it became evident that this policy was not effective, and amidst growing concerns on campus over continuing exposure to second hand smoke, discussions among students, faculty and staff about becoming a completely smoke-free campus began to reemerge.
Smoke-Free Policy Takes Shape
In the early fall of 2011, the Vice Chancellor’s Office for Student Affairs began to solicit feedback from various constituencies on campus to determine whether or not there was broad support for such an effort. During this fall semester, a proposal for a smoke-free campus received support from the Provost’s Office, the Academic Deans, all 14 departments within the Division of Student Affairs, the Executive Director of the Alumni Association, the ASB Senate and the ASB President.
In the spring of 2012, the proposal received support from the Faculty Senate and the Staff Council. During the spring semester, the ASB Senate passed a formal resolution supporting the implementation of a Smoke-Free Policy on the Ole Miss campus. With such campus-wide support evident, Chancellor Dan Jones asked Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Larry Ridgeway to call together a Smoke-Free Campus Policy Implementation Committee. This broad-based committee was chaired by Ms. Leslie Banahan, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Ms. Shannon Richardson, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation. The committee convened for the first time on May 7, 2012 and met regularly throughout that summer. By the end of July, 2012, the committee had refined the policy to its current form and presented it to the Chancellor for his approval, which was received.
The University’s new Smoke-Free Policy CHA.AM.100.108 began with soft implementation on August 1, 2012, without citations for infractions, and included an aggressive public information campaign as well as introducing cessation support programs for students and employees. On January 1, 2013 the policy entered its full-enforcement stage with penalties for non-compliance.