(Highland Heights, Ky.) - Find an ashtray because smoking will soon no longer be allowed anywhere on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.
The NKU Board of Regents voted Wednesday to make the campus smoke-free. Their action gives school President Geoffrey Mearns the authorization to develop the finer details of the policy. Mearns will also appoint a Tobacco-Free Campus Task Force to recommend the best way to implement that policy.
“NKU has been consistently recognized for its commitment to health and wellness,” Mearns said. “Today we begin the next step toward improving our campus atmosphere. Our goal is to provide a healthy environment for our students and, in turn, a healthy workforce for local employers.”
NKU, which began restricting campus smoking to designated smoking areas in 2006, joins a list of over 1,130 US colleges and universities with smoke- or tobacco-free policies in place. Among Kentucky’s public institutions, NKU is the third to implement a tobacco-free policy.
It could be up to 18 months before the campus is fully transitioned to being smoke-free.
The Cincinnati Business Courier named NKU one of the tri-state region’s healthiest employers in both 2011 and 2012.
“Our culture of health is creating an environment in which employees are choosing to make healthier lifestyle choices, and are freely accessing the comprehensive support that is available to them,” Mearns said. “As leaders in our community, we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to act – to further protect the health of our students, employees and visitors; to further support the expectation that living, learning and working environments be tobacco-free; and to be fiscally accountable by doing our part in reducing the enormous economic burden that tobacco use has on our society.”