The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus in 2014 will become tobacco-free. UWSP Chancellor Bernie Patterson told that the decision to remove smoking was taken after conducting surveys among staff and students which found that the majority of them do support it.
UW-Stevens Point is well known for health consciousness. The new smoke-free policy shows the University’s commitment to wellness, which makes part of their strategic plan called A Partnership for Thriving Communities together with Healthy Communities initiative. Patterson wants to gather staff members, faculty, students and community members in order to create a smoke-free plan during the spring semester. The initiative is supported by people who want to quit smoking.
In spring current year, the Student Government Association together with Faculty Senate voted for tobacco-free campus. Thus 70% voted in favor of smoke-free policy. After that, in May and June 2013 also supported a tobacco-free campus.
Sallie Scovill is an associate professor in the School of Health Promotion and Human Development who manages employee wellness programs on the UWSP campus. She told that the smoke-free policy will protect from secondhand smoke every person who comes to the university as many studies showed the negative effects of tobacco use for a long time. Therefore the policy will work good for the majority of people.
Dorothy Kalmon, coordinator for the Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition that serves Portage, Marathon and Wood counties, said she likes the way the university worked with various groups to develop the policy. It is very good that the University involves students and staff in making such decisions. Eliminating tobacco will permit the university to move forward as a safer and healthier place
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