The university’s Tobacco Free Campus Advisory Committee, which formed in fall 2012, issued its report to the president’s cabinet this month after spending nearly a year studying the idea of banning tobacco use on campus.
The report shows the committee recommended banning the use of tobacco products on Kent State campuses.
Greg Jarvie, vice president of enrollment management and student affairs and co-chair of the committee, stressed that the ban is just a recommendation from the committee at this point.
“That doesn’t mean that’s exactly what’s going to happen yet,” Jarvie said.
The committee’s exact recommendation, according to the report, is to implement a tobacco-free policy by a date to be determined with a three-year phased in approach.
“A phased in approach would allow adequate time for a communication and education campaign to current and future employees and students,” the report states.
The president’s cabinet has held two talks about the report. Jarvie was set to meet with Kent State President Lester Lefton last week to talk about the report, and a third meeting between the cabinet members and Lefton is expected to further review the report and its proposal.
Jarvie said Lefton and the administration will eventually make a recommendation for action to the university’s board of trustees, who ultimately have final say on whether Kent State bans tobacco use on campus.
The earliest the university trustees could see a recommendation and vote on the issue is at their next regular meeting in December, Jarvie said.
In the report, the committee cites input gathered from the university community via public meetings, surveys and other means in making the recommendation to ban tobacco use.
Seventy-nine percent of respondents to the survey, which included all eight campuses, said they do not use tobacco products, according to the report.
A total 57 percent of survey respondents said they think Kent State should have tobacco-free campuses. The remaining 43 percent do not favor a tobacco ban, according to the report. About 8,300 people responded to the survey.
Kent State's existing tobacco policy adheres to state law, which prohibits smoking inside all public buildings. The university policy also permits smoking in outdoor areas provided smokers are no closer than 20 feet to doors, windows, vents and other building entrances.
Ohio colleges that have smoke or tobacco free campuses include: Cleveland State University, Ohio State University, Northeast Ohio Medical University and Miami University.
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