Smoking is now off limits at the University of Toledo.
The university’s board of trustees voted unanimously on Monday to ban all tobacco use on all UT campuses.
The ban applies to tobacco, smokeless tobacco, snuff, and electronic cigarettes. The ban won’t take immediate effect, President Lloyd Jacobs said, as it will take some time to develop how to implement the tobacco prohibition.
UT has crept incrementally toward this ban. Its Health Science Campus, the former Medical College of Ohio, went smoke-free in 2008. And the university implemented a policy in 2011 that limited smoking and tobacco use on main campus to designated areas and inside personal vehicles.
The ban follows an Ohio Board of Regents 2012 resolution that urged public colleges and universities to ban tobacco from campuses.
A UT student government survey in 2013 showed about 60 percent of students supported a ban, and the UT faculty senate also voted in favor of the measure.
“This is the will of the people,” Dr. Jacobs said.
There was little discussion about the ban by trustees. They were presented with two resolutions: one for the ban, and one to maintain the status quo. Board trustee S. Amjad Hussain, who writes an opinion column for The Blade, said that many other higher education institutions had taken similar steps.
“I think it’s time for us to adopt that resolution and make sure that we are in line with other leading institutions around the country,” he said.
UT Police Chief Jeff Newton said that violations of the ban by students or staff would be treated as any other policy infraction.
“We are not looking to make arrests for smoking-policy violations,” he said.
Campus visitors — such as tailgaters at sporting events — will be expected to adhere to university policy, Dr. Jacobs said, but it’s not yet clear how aggressive the university will be in enforcing the new rule.
An implementation task force will determine such things as what to do with the “smoking huts” to which smoking is restricted, cessation programs, and the best way to enforce the ban.
Bowling Green State University on Jan. 1 implemented a new policy similar to UT’s recently dropped policy.
In other news, C. William Fall, a former chairman of the UT board of trustees, officially was appointed chairman of University of Toledo Innovation Enterprises.
He takes over for Rick Stansley, also a former UT board chairman, who resigned from the UTIE board and a $1,200-a-day salary at UT earlier this year.
The board also appointed William S. Messer, Jr., a UT pharmacology professor, to the UTIE board.
Mr. Messer is affiliated with a company that received UTIE funding.
The board also approved $3.6 million to renovate the former U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs building on Glendale Avenue near the University of Toledo Medical Center for a new family medicine facility.
The new facility will house both the family medicine residency program housed at ProMedica St. Luke’s Hospital, as well as an existing UTMC family medicine program.
The ProMedica family medicine residency program — a joint operation between ProMedica and UTMC — is ending because of a dispute with a federal agency over funding.
Gov. John Kasich announced on Monday that he had appointed Steve Cavanaugh, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of HCR ManorCare, to the UT board.
Mr. Cavanaugh received his bachelor’s degree from UT, is the chairman of the business advisory council for the college of business, and is the treasurer of the University of Toledo Foundation.
His term began Monday and ends July 1, 2022.
By Nolan Rosenkrans - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)
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