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Idaho State University

Idaho State University-Meridian goes smoke-free Sept. 1

August, 30, 2012

Effective Sept. 1, Idaho State University will join more than 800 other post-secondary institutions across the country as a smoke-free campus, according to Student Affairs Vice President Pat Terrell.

The policy applies on the Meridian, Pocatello and  Twin Falls campuses and will be enforced through peer education and awareness.

Associated Students of ISU passed a resolution in fall 2011 recommending that ISU go smoke-free.  The decision came after reviewing the survey results of faculty, staff and students who were asked about ISU's role in regard to smoking and whether ISU should be smoke free.

The survey, developed and conducted under the direction of  Galen Louis, assistant professor and director of ISU's Public Health Program, indicated that 8.8 percent of ISU's community smoke daily.

Nearly 70 percent said that they thought "the University should see this as a health issue and support policies to maintain clean air environments for all university personnel."
In addition, 60.7 percent were in favor of ISU going completely smoke-free with 15.7 percent neutral and 1 percent with no opinion. The ISU survey also supports the findings of previous surveys conducted by the Bannock County Health Department in Pocatello.

Smoking cessation workshops will be available through Student Health Services and the ISU Wellness Center. In addition, smoking cessation patches are covered by the Student Health Fee for students and by the University’s health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Idaho.

"I am pleased to have the opportunity to implement ASISU’s recommendation," Vailas said. "As the higher education institution in Idaho that offers the largest number of programs in the health professions, this new policy is consistent with our focus on health and wellness, "  said ISU President Arthur C. Vailas .

The policy states: “Smoking is prohibited on all property wholly owned, leased or operated by Idaho State University (“University”). This consists of all buildings, including residence halls, all grounds, including exterior open spaces, parking lots, on-campus sidewalks, University-owned streets, driveways, athletic and practice facilities and recreational spaces; and in all University-owned or leased vehicles.

Idaho State University is committed to promoting a healthy and safe environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors. This policy is intended to reduce the health risks related to smoking and secondhand smoke for the campus community. Smoke and tobacco-free policies are becoming a national standard in order to foster a healthy environment in all communities.
Smoking is hereby defined as the burning of tobacco or any other material in any type of smoking equipment, including but not restricted to cigarettes, cigars or pipes.”