[UPDATED Feb. 25] Florida Gulf Coast University will be a smoke-free campus by 2016 according to university President Wilson Bradshaw. Bradshaw announced via a letter emailed out to students that he will begin making strides to eliminate Tobacco/Smoke products on campus.
“I’m pleased to announce the formation of and appointments to the FGCU Smoke/Tobacco-Free Campus Implementing Committee. Based on campus-wide discussions and feedback by students, faculty and staff over the past few years, my goal is to fully implement a smoke/tobacco-free campus beginning with the summer semester of 2016,” Bradshaw said in the letter.
Smoking and tobacco products are currently only permitted in designated smoking areas across campus.
According to Bradshaw’s letter, the STFC will guide and oversee the effort, including developing and encouraging participation in smoking cessation and other educational programs. They are developing marketing initiatives and plans to transform FGCU into a campus free of tobacco products and smoke.
J. Michael Rollo, vice president of Student Affairs said that this campaign has been in FGCU’s plans for several years and that he believes FGCU is the only public university in Florida that is not smoke-free.
“Faculty Senate has debated it and discussed it and has a resolution supporting it,” Rollo said. “The Staff Advisory Council has explored and investigated it and made recommendations to us. Student Government has never come out with a formal recommendation.”
Rollo said that there are no specific plans to start phasing out smoking yet, but the committee will begin meeting and organizing smoking cessation programs.
“Of course you’re not required to quit smoking, just no smoking on campus,” Rollo said. “We hope people will take this opportunity if they want to quit smoking. We’ve got some resources to help them.”
Rollo welcomes students who disagree with the decision to speak with him about it.
“They’re welcome to disagree with us. If you’re unhappy with it, you may be unhappy with it. Universities are made up of lots of opinions,” Rollo said.
Follow Eagle News for breaking news on Twitter with @FGCUEagleNews