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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943

tobacco celebration

UCM Celebrates Launch of Tobacco-Free Era

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Jan. 17, 2014)-Stressing the university’s commitment to a smooth transition to a tobacco free-free campus, Deborah Curtis, provost and chief academic officer at the University of Central Missouri, officially kicked off a new era at the university Thursday, Jan. 16. She addressed a crowd of UCM faculty, staff and students as the keynote speaker for the Tobacco-Free Campus Celebration, calling attention to a new policy that became effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Dr. Curtis Tobacco Free celebration
Deborah Curtis, provost and chief learning officer, addresses those gathered at the Tobacco-Free Campus Celebration.

“We’ve really worked hard to get to this point,” Curtis said. “I want to thank all of the people, the staff, the committees and task forces that have done research to look at the best practices, and make this the most comfortable and smooth adoption of a policy as possible.”

She added, “We’re going to be working hard in the upcoming months to make sure everybody understands first and foremost that we are committed to a tobacco-free campus, and talking about ways we can help accommodate everyone to that lifestyle.”

The university adopted the policy to promote a healthy and respectful campus environment. It gained approval by the Board of Governors in November 2012, following a year-long research and development process by a committee appointed by President Charles Ambrose.

The tobacco policy prohibits on all UCM campuses use of all tobacco products and nicotine delivery methods not approved by the FDA, including traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hookah/water pipes and all other forms of smoke-generating products. It also includes smokeless tobacco such as chewing tobacco, snus and snuff.  Tobacco products are prohibited indoors and outdoors.

Curtis said a group led by Mollie Dinwiddie, dean of Library Services, has been appointed to address specific issues that develop concerning the policy. That group has been meeting and will be instrumental in helping to update the campus on activities and issues as they relate to a tobacco-free campus. Amy Kiger, director of Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention, and her staff, are also working with the Tobacco Free Ambassadors student group to help make students aware of the policy. This semester, they will be distributing coupons for free soda and coffee to people on campus as a way to create awareness of the new policy. Additional activities will take place to make campus visitors aware of the policy.

“We want to make sure we also share the word beyond this campus so that as we welcome visitors from the community and other places around the region, they will understand we have a serious commitment to this (tobacco-free campus),” Curtis said.

“I hope you all will take on this mantle. It’s something we’re proud of -- we’re happy that we can make this statement and move forward,” she added.