New smoking policy brings health programs

As UNA prepares to go smoke-free fall 2017, Vice President of Student Affairs David Shields is working to implement anti-smoking programs to help students adjust to the new policy .

Associate Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Lee Renfroe and her graduate student Jackie Allen have been researching wellness initiatives to support the new policy. This includes working with Blue Cross to introduce wellness tools and programs.

Shields said in a Flor-Ala article he plans to use the research to help encourage those who wish to stop smoking.

Starting in the fall, Blue Cross and other organizations will join UNA in offering “Lunch and Learn” programs. This is a tool many organizations use to supplement training policies or education initiatives.

Shared Governance groups are also working to develop an ongoing Wellness Task Force to promote a healthy lifestyle in staff and students.

UNA will also offer a new wellness website, as well as programs to encourage physical activities.

“The University recognizes that quitting smoking can be a significant personal challenge,” Shields said. “As such, the University will provide ongoing information, education and support to faculty, staff and students on a variety of wellness initiatives including cessation aids and programs.”

The new policy prohibits smoking on all university-owned and operated property. This includes traditional cigarettes, as well as vaping products or any product producing smoke while in use.

The new policy is effective Aug. 1 following approval of the board of trustees.