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Stephens College enacts smoke-free policy

Thursday, August 21, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:53 a.m. CDT, Thursday, August 21, 2014
Students walk past Columbia Hall, right, in the heart of the Stephens College campus Aug. 15.

COLUMBIA — Stephens College has been a smoke-free campus since July 1, aligning with a city ordinance that bans all smoking products in public places.

The new campus policy forbids the on-campus use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah. Additionally, the policy prohibits advertising any tobacco substances, including smokeless tobacco products.

Janese Silvey, a public relations official with Stephens College, said the decision to go smoke-free had been seriously discussed since a 2011 forum held by college president Dianne Lynch. S

ilvey said that after Lynch asked students if the campus could go totally smoke-free, a campus-wide survey gave students a chance to voice support and concerns.

Smoking was initially restricted to designated areas in the summer of 2013. Silvey said that after Aug. 1, 2014, anybody caught smoking on campus property will face disciplinary action.

"We're a smaller community, really, a family," Silvey said. "We all respect one another, and we'll remind people who are smoking of our policy."

Included in the prohibition are campus sidewalks, parking lots and walkways such as those above College Avenue and Broadway. Silvey said she would ask employees who leave campus grounds for a smoke break to be mindful of Columbia's existing smoking ordinance.

MU's decision to go tobacco-free indicated to Stephens College staff a smoking ban was due, Silvey said. She added that smoking cessation resources and details about the policy could be found on the "Smoke-Free Stephens" blog at smokefreestephens.blogspot.com.


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