The Wellness Council of West Virginia has recognized West Virginia University as a “Tobacco Free Champion,” an award presented annually to companies in the state that have made great strides in creating, implementing or enforcing tobacco-free policies. The organization will present the award at its 26th Annual Conference on Worksite Wellness Sept. 27-28 at The Resort at Glade Springs.

C.B. Wilson, WVU’s associate provost for academic personnel, will accept the honor on behalf of WVU. Wilson chaired WVU’s Smoking Policy Task Force, a constituency-based group, composed of faculty, students and staff, which revamped a policy established in 1990.

In updating the policy, the Task Force solicited public input and gathered information from a variety of sources including city and county government officials, students, PEIA personnel, local and regional tobacco cessation experts and experts in facilities, legal issues and communications. It also reviewed policies of several peer, land-grant institutions and the policy of WVU’s Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, which has been tobacco-free since 2010.

WVU’s new policy will impact thousands of employees, students, guests, clients and patients at WVU by prohibiting tobacco use on the entire campus and other properties throughout the state. It becomes effective July 1.

“The action by the West Virginia University Board of Governors will help to provide the University with a healthier environment in which to conduct its academic mission,” Wilson said. “At the same time, it creates a healthier workplace for faculty and staff.
“I appreciate the efforts of all those who served on the task force as well as the input from many others from within and without the institution, and I thank the Wellness Council of West Virginia for its consideration.”



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