University expands no-smoking policy starting January 1

 
October 23, 2007
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will expand its no-smoking policy, beginning Jan. 1, 2008, through legislation enacted by the N.C. General Assembly last summer, Chancellor James Moeser has announced.

While the University has banned smoking inside its buildings and facilities for years, starting in January the no-smoking boundary will be extended to all outdoor areas controlled by the University up to 100 feet from University facilities, both on and off campus. Smoking in state-owned vehicles also will be prohibited.

The extension of UNC’s no-smoking zone, authorized by revisions to state law, follows the administration’s consultation with faculty, staff and student advisory groups earlier this semester. The change provides an opportunity for the University to sustain its dedication to a healthy work and learning environment, Moeser said in an email message sent to the campus community.

“This policy allows us to reduce the potential for exposure to second-hand smoke across the University,” Moeser wrote. “It also gives us an opportunity to reinforce the efforts of our colleagues in UNC Health Care.”

Since July 4, UNC Health Care, the School of Medicine and the Campus Health Services have prohibited smoking anywhere on the grounds and parking areas around the buildings.

The University will not designate smoking areas. The practical effect of the revised policy is that the campus will be smoke-free, Moeser said. Later this fall, the University plans to begin posting temporary signs across campus to ensure that visitors, students, faculty and staff are aware of the new policy. Next year, the temporary signs will be replaced with permanent signs at key campus entrances.

The University is providing resources to help members of the Carolina community who wish to quit smoking. The Campus Health Services website, http://chs.unc.edu, includes information for students, and the Department of Environment, Health and Safety website, http://www.ehs.unc.edu, includes information for faculty and staff.

The expanded no-smoking zone affects University athletic facilities, too. While the Dean E. Smith Center, Carmichael Auditorium and other enclosed buildings are already smoke-free facilities, the University’s open-air sports venues will become smoke-free on Jan. 1. The Department of Athletics will publicize the new policy at fall sporting events, including remaining football games in Kenan Stadium.

“I wholeheartedly support this expanded dimension of our no-smoking policy because of its tremendous health benefits for the entire University community and the many visitors to our campus,” Moeser said.

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School of Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, director of communications, (919) 966-7467 or ramona_dubose@unc.edu.

News Services contact: Mike McFarland, (919) 962-8593, mike_mcfarland@unc.edu.