NEOMED adopts tobacco-free policy

Staff report


Northeast Ohio Medical University will be tobacco-free beginning next month.

University trustees at a meeting last week approved the campus-wide, tobacco-free policy, effective Nov. 1.

The decision follows the Ohio Board of Regents’ recommendation for all of Ohio’s public institutions of higher education to establish tobacco-free campuses.

NEOMED senior leadership engaged in internal discussions, reviewed research and considered an endorsement submitted by the NEOMED student council before drafting a recommendation for the university’s board of trustees’ consideration.

“As a public medical university with a mission to improve the quality of health care in the region, we took the recommendation of the Ohio Board of Regents very seriously and, upon the approval of our board of trustees, are moving forward with implementing a tobacco-free campus environment,” said Jay A. Gershen, NEOMED president. “We are taking immediate steps to make everyone aware of the change in policy as well as remind students, faculty and staff of the smoking cessation assistance and nicotine replacement therapy we currently offer, and will continue to make available, at reduced or no cost.”

Designed to protect the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff and campus visitors, the policy designates the NEOMED campus as a smoke-free and tobacco-free environment. Under this policy, tobacco use is prohibited anywhere on campus. This includes inside and outside buildings located on university property, in parking areas, as well as in any vehicles or equipment located on campus, or anywhere on campus grounds.

Many areas of the NEOMED campus were already smoke-free in compliance with existing policies prohibiting smoking in public places and workplaces, so employees, students and campus visitors are expected to comply with the new policy.

“As a health sciences university, we need to model excellence in our health-policy standards,” said Eric Kodish, board chairman and director of the Center for Ethics, Humanities and Spiritual Care and the F. J. O’Neill professor and chairman of the department of bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic.

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