Smokers won’t be able to light up anywhere on the 200-plus-acre University of Akron campus beginning July 1.
Use of e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco also will be out, as UA will become tobacco- and nicotine-free on that date.
UA reminded students, employees and others of the new policy in a tweet Wednesday.
The school’s board of trustees approved the new rules in December.
Currently, UA permits smoking outdoors, except within 25 feet of building entrances.
With the change, UA will join the growing ranks of universities across the country with tobacco-free campuses.
July 1 also is when Kent State University will become smoke-free and vape-free. KSU officials revealed the change last year. KSU’s current prohibition limits smoking and tobacco use to at least 20 feet away from buildings.
UA’s new comprehensive policy says that tobacco or nicotine will be prohibited, “whether smoked, heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved or ingested by any means including electronic devices.”
There are exceptions for research or for educational, clinical or smoking-cessation purposes.
The UA ban will extend to the use of tobacco and nicotine products in vehicles parked on university grounds and will be prohibited at all university sponsored events, regardless of where they take place.
Liquids used in e-cigarettes generally contain nicotine, but do not contain tobacco.
The university’s existing smoking rules, which comply with the state’s Smoke Free Workplace law, forbid smoking in buildings and university vehicles.
Ohio’s smoking law dates to November 2006 when voters approved the prohibitions. The Ohio Department of Health notes that Ohio was the first tobacco-growing state to enact such a law.
UA’s University Council, an advisory body, recommended the change and the board unanimously adopted the new policy in December.
In 2012, the Ohio Department of Higher Education urged the state’s colleges and universities to adopt tobacco-free policies.
The Americans Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation says that as of April 1, there were at least 1,536 tobacco-free U.S. campuses, with 1,400 of these also prohibiting e-cigarette use.
Ohio schools that are tobacco-free and also prohibit e-cigarettes include Ohio State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Miami University, Northeast Ohio Medical University and the University of Toledo.
For more on UA’s new policy, including smoking cessation initiatives, go to www.uakron.edu/tobacco-free.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at www.facebook.com.