NKU’s tobacco policy task force met for the first time last week to begin discussing NKU’s transition to a tobacco free campus.
The task force will meet once every week or two and will feed the information they’ve gathered to an advisory council that will start writing and making their recommendations to President Mearns, according to Dean of Students Jeffrey Waple.
Waple said the task force is divided into five subcommittees: facilities, boundaries and signage, marketing and communications, compliance and enforcement, tobacco addiction, treatment and prevention and good neighbor.
The first, facilities, boundaries and signage, will develop campus maps that define boundaries to help the campus community and guests comply with the policy as well as determine a plan for temporary and permanent signage options, remove the current smoking signs and remove tobacco product litter from campus.
“It’s not just what you see here,” Waple said. “It’s our Bank of Kentucky Center, our METS Center and our Grant County and Covington campuses. It’s more than we see on the Highland Heights campus.”
The second subcommittee is marketing and communications, which will develop policy language and branding that will be used on all campus signs and communications, similar to the University of Kentucky’s tobacco-free plan: Tobacco-Free UK: A Healthy Place to Live, Work and Learn.
The third subcommittee is compliance and enforcement. It will develop codes of behavior expectations and noncompliance as well as determining both passive and active enforcement methods and trainings.
The fourth subcommittee is tobacco addiction, treatment and prevention. It will develop educational programming about tobacco addiction and provide and communicate ways to assist people with quitting and fighting their tobacco cravings, known as cessation programs, while on campus.
The fifth subcommittee is called good neighbor. It will engage local merchants, restaurants and neighboring homeowners to both identify concerns related to the policy and identify collaboration opportunities which would support policy compliance such as the provision of lawn signage and the distribution of pamphlets.
According to Waple, the advisory council is making their actions as transparent as possible.
“There is a website where we’re going to have all the information that’s happening, where we’re going, the documents we’re providing,” Waple said. “We’ll have updates on how things are proceeding and what we’re thinking about.”
For more information on the task force or the tobacco policy, visit www.tobaccofree.nku.edu/. The wellness center already offers support to smokers wanting to quit. For tips, one-on-one support and phone numbers for tobacco quit line supports, visit www.wellness.nku.edu/tobaccopolicy.html.