West Virginia University’s Smoking Task Force has made the recommendation to modify the University’s existing campus smoking policy.
However C.B.Wilson, chair of the task force, stressed that “the shape and extent of that modification, and its implementation” is yet to be decided and will constitute the next phase of the task forces’ work.
The recommendation was decided upon after the 11-member task force – formed by President James P. Clements in early December 2009 – thoroughly reviewed the current policy and met with several key health, government and University officials.
“The task force found it important to minimize the exposure of the University community to tobacco smoke and tobacco products,” said Wilson, associate provost for academic personnel.
The current policy – created in 1990 – bans smoking in University buildings, although exceptions can be made for residence halls.
In the course of four months, the task force reviewed smoking policies in place at peer institutions, including the University of Kentucky, University of Florida, Oklahoma State University and University of New Mexico.
The task force also looked at a survey of nearly 1,000 students, conducted by a sociology student; met with a representative from the American Federation of Teachers to learn how a change in the policy might affect employees; and met with members of the Monongalia County Board of Health, among others.
In the future, the task force plans on creating opportunities for constituent groups to provide input. It may hold town hall meetings or create a website where students, parents and University employees can comment.
The task force is meeting during the summer and will continue to meet during the fall 2010 semester. During that time it will examine the extent the policy should be modified, and consider recommendations on how modifications should be implemented.
To view WVU’s current smoking policy, visit http://ehs.wvu.edu/r/download/23427 .
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