JWU to become RI’s first tobacco-free campus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — All four Johnson & Wales University campuses will be completely tobacco-free by 2016, the university announced on Tuesday.

According to the school, the Charlotte, North Carolina campus will kick off the initiative on July 1, 2015, with the North Miami, Florida campus following in December.

The university expects the Providence, Rhode Island and Denver, Colorado campuses to become tobacco-free on July 1, 2016.

“One of the goals of the university’s current strategic plan is to provide a safe and healthy working and learning environment for the entire Johnson & Wales University community,” said Ronald Martel, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Affairs. “Over the past two years, Johnson & Wales has taken progressive steps toward becoming tobacco-free, including prohibiting the selling of tobacco products and tobacco-related advertising on campus. We are now ready to take a major step forward to create a healthier environment for the Johnson & Wales community by establishing JWU as a tobacco-free university.”

Since the launch of the nationwide Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative in 2012, the number of campuses instituting tobacco-free policies has increased by 90 percent.

According to the Americans for Non Smokers’ Rights, more than 1,500 college campuses across the country have become smoke-free since Jan. 1, 2015 —  two-thirds which are tobacco-free.

At this time, there is no college or university in Rhode Island that is tobacco-free.

“By becoming tobacco-free, our campus environments will be healthier, safer, and cleaner,” said Martel. “Support will be offered for tobacco users to quit, starting on the path for better health. In addition, our students will be better prepared for the reality of tobacco-free workplaces and communities.”

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