West Virginia University could become smoke-free as a result of recommendations from a task force President Jim Clements appointed to examine the current smoking policy.

The task force, originally appointed in 2009, issued its recommendations following public meetings held during the spring semester. Clements gave a brief update on the task force’s recommendation for a more restrictive policy at Monday’s Faculty Senate meeting.

As a next step, Clements said he will ask the appropriate experts to analyze the areas for consideration raised by the task force, which include:

  • Delineation of areas for a smoke-free campus.
  • Development of a written policy to be considered by the WVU Board of Governors.
  • Education and signage of any new policy or procedures.
  • Expansion of cessation programs.
  • Consideration of how the policy would be applied during special events held on-campus.
  • Consideration of employee groups and residence halls.
  • Creation of a culture of compliance.

Clements said he will charge Vice President for Legal Affairs Bill Hutchens and Vice President for Administration and Finance Narvel Weese to coordinate the review of these areas and other related issues. They will report back this coming fall, he said.

Appropriate health and wellness experts on campus will continue to be involved to support cessation program opportunities for employees and students.

“The task force is a constituency-based group, composed of faculty, students and staff,” said Associate Provost C.B. Wilson, who chaired the task force. “The group is advising that a policy change merits exploration, so the next step is for the experts in facilities, legal issues, and communications to explore the logistics of a change to WVU’s current smoking policy.”

The task force will remain a resource for continued feedback and advice, he said.

The current policy – created in 1990 – bans smoking in University buildings, although exceptions can be made for residence halls.

WVU’s Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Campus has been tobacco-free since June 4, 2010.



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