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Wayne State University's Old Main Building. Daily Detroit File Photo.
Wayne State University's Old Main Building. Daily Detroit File Photo.

There are plenty of methods students use to make it through the clouds of cigarette smoke on campuses. Some hold their breath and walk quickly. Others find it easier to avoid the smoking areas. However, on August 19, Wayne State University students won’t have to worry about planning their route to class around smokers anymore.

Wayne State University has announced that its main campus and extension centers will be smoke-free and tobacco-free August 19. The policy will apply to all employees, students, contractors, and visitors.

The new policy prohibits smoking (including e-cigarettes and “vaping”) as well as the use of all tobacco products within and outside of all buildings or structures owned, leased, rented, or operated by WSU. However, smoking is permitted in privately owned vehicles.

The current tobacco policy allows tobacco use on campus, but smokers can’t be within 25 feet of any building. This policy will be amended to reflect the campus’s smoke-free status.

“Wayne State is committed to the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors. Going smoke- and tobacco-free is a logical step toward ensuring a healthy, clean and welcoming campus,” said WSU President M. Roy Wilson. “As the campus prepares for this transition, we will provide numerous cessation resources for those who want help quitting.”

The Student Senate pushed for the establishment of a presidential task force in 2014. The task force’s goal was to determine if the university should implement a smoke-free campus policy.

Survey results from WSU indicated that most of the groups on campus thought that the campus would be more appealing if it were smoke-free.

In deciding to go smoke-free, WSU joins the WSU School of Medicine, which has been smoke-free since July 2008.

The number of smoke-free campuses across the nation is growing. The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation reported that as of January 1, 2015, there were over 1,500 smoke-free campuses in the U.S. About two-thirds of these campuses, 1,014, are fully tobacco-free.

For more information about WSU’s policy, visit wayne.edu/smoke-free.