USAO goes tobacco free July 1
Campus visitors and students can breathe more freely than ever as the University of Science and Arts joins all state agencies in banning tobacco, effective July 1. Among its other health initiatives underway, USAO plans to open the Nobbs Wellness Center for all students in the fall.
In compliance with an executive order from Gov. Mary Fallin, USAO became tobacco free on July 1. The decision was confirmed on April 10 when the USAO Board of Regents affirmed the university’s plan. USAO’s policy is publicly available online at usao.edu/tobacco-free-campus-policy.
This new initiative replaces USAO’s 1993 policy that banned smoking from campus buildings but allowed smoking outdoors, at least 25 feet from building entrances.
The governor’s Executive Order 2012-01, signed on Feb. 6, expanded USAO’s ban to include all property owned by the university, including outdoor spaces, which is consistent with all other state agencies.
Disciplinary actions range from referral to housing authorities or the dean for student violators, or to supervisors or campus security for employees.
Campus visitors who use tobacco will be referred to security and may be asked to leave the property. Details are available online.
State officials approved the ban on state property citing health and financial concerns for all Oklahoma citizens. The ban was announced by Gov. Fallin in her January state of the union address.
“Healthy living is important, not just because we want Oklahomans to live full and happy lives, but because the effects of unhealthy life choices hurt our economy, drain taxpayer dollars and drive up the cost of health care for everyone,” Fallin said. “Oklahoma is currently ranked 48th in the nation in overall health indicators. That’s unacceptable.”
Fallin’s full address is available online at www.ok.gov/governor. A copy of the executive order also is posted there under the link “agenda.”
At the Capitol, the smoking room is being converted to a fitness center.
The Nobbs Wellness Center at USAO is a spacious new fitness and aerobics facility on the second floor of the USAO Student Center.