DANBURY, Connecticut — Western Connecticut State University, as part of a healthy campus initiative, has approved an expanded Tobacco and Vape-Free Policy for both of its campuses in Danbury, effective July 1, 2023.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Schlicht, professor in the university’s Department of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences (HPX) in the School of Professional Studies, this policy will make all university-owned property tobacco and vape-free. Smoking and other uses of these products will not be permitted in any indoor and outdoor spaces, including buildings, community areas, performance venues, meeting spaces, parking lots, paths, fields, sport/recreational areas and also in all personal vehicles while on campus. The new initiative applies to all students, employees, contractors, visitors and others.
Schlicht, who spearheaded the effort, said that this policy was passed by the University Senate in December 2022 and approved by Interim President Dr. Paul B. Beran in an official signing ceremony on May 1, 2023.
The ban will be communicated to students, faculty and staff through the efforts of two student Campus Leaders over the next two years. The WCSU Campus Leaders, Uche Aja, a Justice and Law Administration major, and Keithsany Valentin, an Interdisciplinary Studies major, both of West Haven, will educate the WCSU community about the new smoke-free policy and offer information on how to quit.
Funding from a TruthInitiative.org grant will provide WCSU’s Tobacco and Vape-Free College initiative a small budget for educational and promotional materials, signage and banners, meeting expenses and stipends for student Campus Leaders. It will also fund Quit Kits, which will offer useful smoking cessation information and habit replacement items, such as gum.
“There is a team of faculty and staff on campus, including the CHOICES substance abuse program and Student Health Services, that will work together to support our community, including people currently smoking and vaping. It’s important that everyone knows this policy isn’t about punishing people. It’s about educating and supporting people,” Schlicht said.
To help employees adjust to this new policy, Western Connecticut State University offers smoking cessation assistance to its employees through its Employee Assistance Program and health benefits that include prescribed smoking cessation medication through health care providers. The State of Connecticut also supports a 1-800-Quit-Now hotline which offers Quit Coaches.
WCSU is committed to the health and safety of its students, employees and visitors. The university regularly offers Health Fairs and other wellness activities, sponsors Student Care Teams, and hosts the new Wellness Center, Counseling Center, WCSU Food Pantry, The Center for Empowerment and Education campus office, the Institute for Holistic Health Studies, AccessAbility Services, Recreation Department and student club physical and mental health-related events.
For more information, contact WCSU Public Relations at email@example.com.
Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.