Fort Lewis College will ban smoking on campus Jan. 1 following Gov. John Hickenlooper’s executive order that extends the state prohibition on smoking in state buildings to the grounds of state buildings and to vaping.
“I see smoking as a serious public health issue for both smoker and nonsmoker alike, and I am 100 percent in support of Fort Lewis College becoming a smoke-free campus,” said FLC President Tom Stritikus in a news release. “I understand this may be a difficult transition for some, but I hope a smoke-free campus can be a motivator for people to quit.”
The ban on smoking applies to all employees, students, visitors, contractors and externally affiliated individuals or companies renting FLC-owned space on FLC-owned and -operated property.
The policy applies to smoking any substance, including, but not limited to, tobacco, cloves or marijuana. “Smoking products” include, but are not limited to, all cigarette products (cigarettes, bidis, kreteks, e-cigarettes, etc.) and all smoke-producing products (cigars, pipes, hookahs, vaporizers, etc.).
FLC-owned and -operated campus grounds include all outdoor common and educational areas, all FLC buildings, FLC housing, campus sidewalks, campus parking lots, recreational areas, outdoor stadiums and FLC-owned and -leased vehicles.
“We know that this is an abrupt change that will affect many students living both on and off campus,” said Associated Students for Fort Lewis College President Chance Salway in the news release. “While this is going to be a difficult transition, there are resources available.”
Students who seek help to quit smoking can call the Student Health Center in the Miller Student Services building at 247-7355. FLC’s WellPAC program also offers quit packs and peer support. Additionally, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Department recommends Become an EX, Tobacco Free CO, Smokefree.gov and Colorado QuitLine as online resources to help quit.
On Nov. 2, Hickenlooper signed an executive order that, in part, extends the current prohibition on smoking in state buildings to e-cigarette use and vaping, as well as to the grounds of state buildings.
Eight campuses in Colorado are already smoke-free, as well as more than 2,000 colleges and universities across the nation, but a recent surge in vaping, especially with young people, inspired Hickenlooper’s order. A recent study shows Colorado teens have the highest incidence of vaping in the country.