(New Orleans – LA) The Dillard University Board of Trustees recently approved a Tobacco-Free Policy for the University’s campus, according to Dr. Wodajo Welldaregay, Interim Chair of the School of Public Health and head of the Tobacco-Free Initiative at Dillard.
“I am really excited about this because we’ve been working on this since 2005,” Welldaregay said. “The initiative started out with three colleges Dillard, Xavier, and Grambling and eventually grew to include every college and university in Louisiana,” he added.
The tobacco-free policy, which became effective as of Jan. 1, 2014, means that the use of any tobacco product in any form (smoking or chewing) is prohibited at all times on all university property and, as well as on campus grounds. Full enforcement starts August 2014 and any member of the Dillard University community may and is expected to identify violators of the Tobacco Free campus policy. As with any University policy, supervisors will support and play an active role in the enforcement of the policy.
Welldaregay noted that, each year the University competed for funding in the form of Tobacco Control Prevention and Advocacy Grant to support our advocacy effort to become a tobacco free campus and create a “Healthy Learning, Living and Working Environment”; from the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), a program of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center and the Louisiana Public Health Institute. TFL works with Louisiana’s colleges and universities to achieve 100% tobacco-free policies such as this. Its Fresh Campus program is a student-led campaign established to facilitate the empowerment of college students to create social change on their campus by focusing efforts on tobacco-free campus policies.
Dillard has participated in the Fresh Campus Program since 2005. The University continues to use funding from the TFL grant to educate students, faculty, staff as well as visitors about the health risks of smoking and tobacco use and the University’s tobacco-free policy. Over the next six months there will be a promotional campaign to ensure that everyone on campus and visitors are aware of Dillard’s tobacco-free policy. This will include permanent signage on campus and in all university facilities, as well as cessation workshops, informational materials, banners and other campus-wide events, including “Kick-Butts” Day on March 19.
Tobacco Free Campus Policy Information
Tobacco Free Policy
Tobacco Free Policy Implementation Timeline