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University to Become Tobacco-Free by 2020

by Montclarion News

The red stars on the map indicate areas on campus where smoking will be permitted.

New university policies on tobacco use on campus were announced today, revealing a three-year plan which will lead to Montclair State becoming 100% smoke free in 2020.

Starting on Sept. 1 of this year, smoking and the use of tobacco will only be permitted in about ten designated smoking areas on campus. These designated smoking areas, along with non-designated smoking areas, will have signs clearly marking them as such.

“There will be areas [for smoking] that are not in doorways, near doorways, underneath open windows or near intake vents into buildings,” said Dr. Karen Pennington, vice president of student life and campus development.

The policy not only prohibits smoking and tobacco products outside designated areas, but electronic cigarettes and vaporizers as well. According to the plan, each year there will be less of these smoking zones until Sept. 1, 2020, when the campus will be 100% smoke, tobacco and vapor product free.

About two years ago, the Montclair State University Senate made a recommendation to the university to become a smoke-free campus. The Student Government Association (SGA) then issued a survey to students in November of last year to hear their thoughts about the proposed plan.

The majority of students voted against the smoke-free campus but according to Pennington, the new policy the administration created is a compromise.

“It’s going to take all of us to do this,” Pennington said, stressing the importance of enacting this policy for our own personal health as well as that of the campus community.

The Office of Health Promotion will have programs and services for the campus community to support the end of tobacco use at Montclair State. The programs will be conducted until the implementation of the full policy in 2020 with the possibility of adding additional programs after that time.

According to Pennington, the administration recognizes that this policy will be a difficult transition for many people but hopes to acquire the support and encouragement of both smokers and non-smokers in the campus community.

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