As of Wednesday, July 1, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will implement the Illinois law that prohibits smoking and all tobacco related products into its policies and procedures.
SIUE will observe the Smoke Free Campus Act on its Edwardsville, East St. Louis and Alton campuses.
“SIUE is ready to comply with state law as of July 1,” said Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenneth Neher. “The Smoke Free Campus Act means that there can be no smoking or tobacco products of any kind on any State-owned University property.”
There is more information available on SIUE’s policies and procedures online page.
“The General Assembly finds that tobacco smoke is a harmful and dangerous carcinogen to human beings and a hazard to public health,” said Riane Greenwalt, director of SIUE Health Services. “Secondhand tobacco smoke causes at least 65,000 deaths each year from heart disease and lung cancer according to the National Cancer Institute.
“Secondhand tobacco smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States,” Greenwalt continued. “Illinois workers exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke are at an increased risk of premature death. An estimated 2,900 Illinois citizens die each year from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.”
Creating an environment that is tobacco free may start a healthy habit that continues off campus, noted Greenwalt.
“Employees should make an appointment with their primary care provider to discuss smoking cessation therapies,” she said. “Students are encouraged to make an appointment with SIUE Health Service to discuss therapy options.”
To address the implementation of the new law, the state legislature specified that a Smoke Free Task Force be established at all State-supported institutions of higher education as of December 31, 2014, according to the vice chancellor for administration.
“We formed our smoke free task force in October 2014,” Neher added. “It is a 12-member task force with representatives from faculty, staff, students and all three of our campuses. It also included smokers.”
Enforcement of the Smoke Free Campus Act will be determined by the classification of the offender. “Staff and faculty complaints will be handled through the progressive discipline policy of the University,” Neher explained. “Students will be referred to SIUE Student Affairs or University Housing.”
To report any infringements to the Smoke Free Campus Act, an online form can be accessed from the SIUE homepage, effective July 1. Signs denoting that SIUE is smoke free campus will be posted by the same date.
Visit these sites for more information, Smoking Cessation Program, American Cancer Society and Centers for Disease Control. The Illinois Department of Central Management (CMS)
may also offer smoking cessation reimbursement for those that complete an eligible program. Contact CMS at (800) 442-1300 for more details.