Green River Community College will become the ninth Washington college campus to go 100 percent smoke-free when a ban on tobacco use goes into effect on Jan. 1.
Green River President Eileen Ely announced the new policy today during Opening Day, a campus event for returning faculty and college staff. The president approved the college’s tobacco use policy at the Sept. 4 staff meeting and will implement the policy beginning Jan. 1.
“Having a tobacco-free campus will provide students a healthier place to study and employees a healthier place to work,” Ely said.
Non-compliance with the designated smoking areas and the constant littering on campus indicated it was time for a change, Ely said. The college, which allows smoking and other tobacco use in designated areas, has been reviewing the policy since 2009.
Green River is the fourth state community college to ban tobacco use and the second this year. Everett Community College went tobacco-free on Sept. 1. Many Washington state campuses have some form of no-smoking rule or are in the process of adopting one.
More than 70 percent of students participating in the 2011 campus elections voted in favor of a smoking ban. The total ban policy received 64 percent favorable comments earlier this year. Students also voted in support of a total tobacco ban on the campus elections held during spring quarter.
According to the American Lung Association, more than 285 schools nationwide ban tobacco use.
Users would still be able to smoke or use tobacco in their cars.