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Penn State To Go Tobacco-Free Beginning Fall 2018

Penn State will become tobacco- and smoke-free across all campuses beginning this fall, banning cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, all nicotine delivery devices, and other tobacco products.

The new policy will be effective for all university-owned or leased properties, facilities, and vehicles. It does not apply to Penn State employees currently represented by unions. (Read: This could get interesting if graduate students vote to unionize.)

Tobacco use for cultural or religious practices, theatrical performances, and research are also exempt from the policy. Penn Staters will still be allowed to smoke or use tobacco inside closed personal vehicles parked on university property — just in case you were worried about the repercussions of hot boxing your Juul.

“The health of our faculty, staff, and students is a top priority for the university, and this is an important step toward providing a safe and clean learning and working environment,” Penn State President Eric Barron said in a release. “I am pleased to announce this policy change, which was a true collaboration and recommendation from our students, faculty, staff, and administration.”

The University Park Undergraduate Association surveyed students in 2015 about smoking and tobacco use and presented its findings in a report to President Barron in early 2016, recommending the university go smoke-free. The University Faculty Senate supported the report and formed a task force dedicated to exploring Penn State’s options in October 2016. The task force made a final recommendation in fall 2017 to President Barron and the University Faculty Senate voted in support of a tobacco-free campus policy.

“We hope that the entire Penn State community will champion this policy by helping to communicate, educate, and provide support to their peers and colleagues,” Barron added.

Campuses will provide support for individuals who currently use tobacco or are in the process of quitting, and a website with more information will be launched in the fall. This makes Penn State the 11th school in the Big Ten to implement such a policy. After a fall rollout, it’ll be fully implemented beginning January 1, 2019.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


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