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MU Officials Unveil New Smoking Policy on Campus; First Step to a Smoke-Free Campus

Deaton says health is a top concern

Dec. 11, 2008

Story Contact:  Christian Basi, (573) 882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. ¬Acting on recommendations from groups representing students, faculty and staff across the campus, University of Missouri officials announced today a new smoking policy that bans smoking in all university owned or leased property. The policy will go into effect Jan. 20, 2009. Officials said this is the first step toward a smoke-free campus.

“I am pleased with our new policy because it promotes good health while allowing faculty, staff and students time to make adjustments through each of its phases,” MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said. “I appreciate the hard work of the task force in gathering information and making their recommendations while giving consideration to the diversity of opinion on this topic within our campus community.”

To assist employees, MU officials will work with the Atkins Wellness Program to provide smoking cessation programs for employees, while the MU Wellness Resource Center will provide smoking cessation programs for students.

According to the new policy, smoking will be prohibited on MU owned or leased property within 20 feet of building entrances, exits, windows and fresh air intake systems. Exceptions to these prohibitions include:
 Areas specifically designated for smoking by MU officials.
 Academic research approved by the Campus Institutional Review Board.

Previously, University of Missouri Health Care officials established their own smoking policy. That smoke-free policy will remain in effect, Deaton said.

The policy will go into effect Jan. 20, 2009. MU officials intend to move from the 20-foot rule to one of designated outdoor smoking areas by July 1, 2011. Deaton said the ultimate goal is to have the campus smoke free by Jan. 1, 2014.

Effective Jan. 1, 2009, prescription smoking cessation drugs will be covered under the University of Missouri Healthcare Program at the same level of benefits as other drugs.  For more information, visit the UM Faculty and Staff Benefits website at:\ums\departments\hr\benefits.

 The smoking policy task force held a series of open forums and conducted a campuswide survey on attitudes toward smoking. The task force forwarded its recommendations to the vice chancellor for administrative services. The vice chancellor reviewed those recommendations with members of MU’s Faculty Council, Staff Advisory Council, the Missouri Students Association and the Graduate Professional Council and developed the new policy.