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Smoking Policy Task Force

Note: The Task Force is planning for a series of 3 Campus Open Discussions on the Smoking Policy during the first week in December. Dates and times of the Open Discussions are:

  • Tuesday, December 3, 9:00pm – 10:30pm in the LRH Great Room
  • Wednesday, December 4, 11:30am – 1pm in PAC C/D
  • Wednesday, December 4, 4:30pm – 6:00pm in PAC C/D

The current UIS smoking policy prohibits smoking inside buildings and allows smoking outdoors only in designated smoking areas. In September 2013, Chancellor Koch established a “UIS Smoke/Tobacco-free Task Force” to examine whether the current policy should be changed and to examine the feasibility of creating a smoke/tobacco-free environment on the UIS campus


About this task force

Chancellor Susan Koch established this task force in September 2013 “to examine the feasibility of creating a smoke/tobacco-free environment on the UIS campus .” She asked the task force:

  1. To review current smoking/tobacco use policies and best practices of other campuses, including policies recently developed at UIC and UIUC;
  2. To examine the feasibility of establishing a smoke/tobacco-free UIS campus;
  3. To consult, as appropriate, with the various constituents, including smokers, who would be affected by a change in the current smoking/tobacco-use policy;
  4. To make a recommendation with the appropriate rationale that the task force considers most desirable.
  5. To complete its work by February 1, 2014

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Members, Smoking Policy Task Force

  • Laura Alexander, chair
  • Katie Bowers
  • Lori Benedict
  • Valerie Gebhardt
  • Mark Henss
  • Laurie Koehne
  • Darlene Harris-Kresse
  • Don Mitchell
  • Carolyn Neitzke
  • Jim Korte
  • Kyle Noland
  • Kristin Obert
  • John Ringle
  • Ken Runkle (replacing Sharron LaFollette)
  • Carly Shank
  • Ceitha Steele
  • Dane Vincent
  • Ed Wojcicki

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The charge to the task force

Chancellor Koch sent this letter to task force members on September 23, 2013:

Dear Member of the UIS Smoke/Tobacco-free Task Force:

I greatly appreciate your interest in and commitment to being part of this ad-hoc committee to examine the feasibility of creating a smoke/tobacco-free environment on the UIS campus. As you may know, many universities across the U.S. have already implemented policies to reduce or eliminate smoking and/or tobacco use on campus. Our two sister institutions within the University of Illinois system have already implemented such policies. The University of Illinois at Chicago implemented a tobacco-free policy on July 1, 2013 and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is scheduled to become smoke-free on January 1, 2014.  Formal legislation addressing this issue on public university campuses was considered by the Illinois legislature this past year; but no legislation has yet been signed into law.

The charge of the task force is as follows:

  1. To review current smoking/tobacco use policies and best practices of other campuses, including policies recently developed at UIC and UIUC;
  2. To examine the feasibility of establishing a smoke/tobacco-free UIS campus;
  3. To consult, as appropriate, with the various constituents, including smokers, who would be affected by a change in the current smoking/tobacco-use policy;
  4. To make a recommendation with the appropriate rationale that the task force considers most desirable.

The proposed deadline for the task force to complete this work is February 1, 2014.  This will allow several months for research, consultation and discussion; but also keep the task force moving forward in a timely manner.

Should the final decision be that the UIS campus become a smoke/tobacco free environment, I anticipate a second phase of the Task Force’s work would be to develop the appropriate policy and implementation plan, which would include a timeline and appropriate communications as well as smoking cessation programs being made available to employees and students in anticipation of the implementation date.  The timeline for this second phase will be determined if and when the first phase results in a decision for change in the current policy.

Thank you again for your willingness to serve on this important task force and I look forward to receiving your recommendation.

Sincerely,

Chancellor Koch

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Submit additional ideas or comments

Chancellor Koch and Task Force Chair Laura Alexander invite email notes about the work of the Smoking Policy Task Force. You may submit any ideas, concerns, or comments to MyIdea@uis.edu

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Provide input by taking this anonymous survey

The task force has invited the UIS community to participate in a survey about the current UIS tobacco policy as well as your attitude about any changes to the policy. The results of this survey will be included in the task force’s report to the chancellor. The survey opened November 7 and will close November 28.  The estimated time for completion is five minutes. For authentication purposes, you will be asked to log in using your netid; however, your identity will not be disclosed or tied to your survey results.

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