~ Safe and Healthy Lives in Safe and Healthy Communities ~
Copyright © 2001
University of Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island
Smoking is widely recognized as the single most important cause of preventable human disease, including lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema. Also recognized is the increasing weight of scientific evidence that breathing secondhand smoke can cause adverse health problems in nonsmokers. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen, a substance known to cause cancer in humans. In addition, the University cites the potential that exists for fire, loss of life, and injuries from the careless use of cigarettes or other lighted tobacco products.
In 1993, all state-owned buildings at the University of Rhode Island's four campuses became smokefree and smoking was prohibited in state-owned vehicles, as a result of state statutes and laws governing smoking for State of Rhode Island buildings and property.
In December 2000, the University of Rhode Island announced that the nonsmoking policy would extend to residence halls and apartment complexes, effective June 1, 2001. This action nullified a 1993 modification clause to the Nonsmoking Policy of the RI Board of Governors for Higher Education that allowed for smoking in student rooms with consent of roommates. In the interest of a safe and healthy working and learning environment for its students, faculty and staff, as well as visitors, the University of Rhode Island has expanded its smoke-free requirements and adopted the following policy:
Effective June 1, 2001, smoking is prohibited in all University-owned and operated buildings, including residence halls and apartment complexes, and all vehicles owned and operated by the University. Additionally, smoking is prohibited on residence hall and apartment complex porches or balconies. Tobacco advertisements are prohibited in University owned and operated publications. Smoking is defined as the lighting or carrying of a lighted cigarette, pipe, cigar, or any other smoking equipment, whether filled with tobacco or any other type of material. The sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products and the free distribution of tobacco products are prohibited.
This policy applies to the entire University community, including faculty, staff, students, and visitors. It relies primarily on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers. It is the responsibility of all members of the University community to observe and follow this policy and its guidelines.
Violation of this policy in the residence halls or University operated apartments may result in disciplinary action including the possible termination of the housing contract.
Given the tobacco industry's recent shift in marketing to target college-aged students, the University encourages the editorial board of the student newspaper (The Good 5 Cent Cigar) to consider refusing to advertise tobacco products or accept any tobacco industry advertising (such as the current Philip Morris image campaign).
Support and assistance for smokers has been expanded. Understanding the addictive nature of smoking and that breaking the habit is extremely difficult for many people, the University will assist those who elect to stop smoking by offering additional smoking cessation programs and other resources. Any member of the University community interested in smoking cessation support services may contact the URI Health Services for additional guidance and consultation.
The University's Cancer Prevention Research Center is now a participant in providing the campus community with smoking cessation programs. The American Cancer Society, New England Division, has joined forces with the University to assist in providing support services and information to smokers. The R.I. Department of Health has collaborated with the University to fund a campus awareness campaign to assist in communicating the new policy and direct members of the community to available resources.
Individualized programs, counseling, interactive computer programs, peer education, and support through student organizations are available. Outreach campaigns to smokers who want to quit and those who are not quite ready are offered.
Copies of this policy shall be distributed to all employees and shall be included with information given to students. Announcements will be printed in campus newspapers to ensure that everyone understands the new policy.
The smoking policy will be referenced in the housing and dining brochure sent to all accepted first year students, in the annual housing contract, and posted in all residence halls.
The policy changes with regard to the residence halls were announced six months prior to its implementation to give smokers time to adapt and make decisions regarding housing choices for the next academic year. The additional policy changes are being distributed more than two months in advance of implementation.
Complaints, concerns or requests for clarification and advice regarding this policy may be referred to the Office of Student Life.
A Smoke-free Policy Review Committee for the University of Rhode Island shall be appointed by the president to oversee and evaluate this smoking policy. The Review Committee shall serve the following basic functions: