LA PLATA, Md. (Oct. 27, 2016)—The College of Southern Maryland is joining the growing number of institutions across the country that are going smoke-free.
Effective Jan. 1, 2017, CSM will establish a smoke-, tobacco- and vape-free learning and working environment on all of its campuses, college locations and property. The new policy was recommended by CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried and approved by the CSM Board of Trustees in July.
"We all know that change is not always easy, but this CSM policy change reinforces our commitment to preserving and improving the health and comfort of our students, faculty, staff and guests," Gottfried said.
The policy applies to all members of the CSM community including students, faculty, staff, volunteers, contractors, visitors and anyone entering onto CSM properties. All events hosted by CSM and outside groups on CSM campuses will be tobacco-free as well. The policy also covers the use of all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, electronic smoking devices and any unregulated nicotine product.
All tobacco and vape-producing products will be prohibited from being used anywhere on any CSM property, including in all buildings and facilities, outdoor areas, athletic fields, parking lots and vehicles traveling on a campus. The policy will be applicable 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"The commitment to a tobacco-free campus is a responsibility we all share together, whether you're a tobacco user or not. For those of you who are tobacco users, CSM is committed to providing you the appropriate resources," Gottfried said.
The college will make smoking-cessation resources and counseling available on all campuses. Information on available resources will be shared in the coming months at www.csmd.edu/breatheclean.
"CSM is here to support those who decide it's a good time to take steps to quit," said Judi Ferrara, the college's director of Adult and Community Education.
CSM is working closely with the county health departments to offer cessation classes on each of its campuses. "Why not bring cessation classes to campus and make it a little less challenging for those who are serious about quitting and want to improve their health," Ferrara said.
The classes also will be available through each county health department and are free to the public. Typically classes begin in January, run for eight weeks, and meet for an hour once a week.
CSM will place quit kits around all three campuses for those who are already in the process of quitting. In addition, several other resources are available such as the Maryland Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW and online at www.smokingstopshere.com.
To help with the transition, all ash urns will be removed from the college's gazebos and will be replaced with signs to indicate that CSM is a smoke-, tobacco- and vape-free campus.
CSM joins many colleges, businesses, hospitals and government centers nationwide that prohibit these products on their premises. As of October 2016, there are 1,713 smoke-free campuses, of which more than 83 percent are fully tobacco-free, in the U.S., statistics from the Tobacco Free College Campus Initiative show.
"Our students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors deserve the healthiest possible place to work and learn. I appreciate your support in making health and well-being and a cleaner environment top priorities for our CSM community," Gottfried said.
For information on the policy and resources, visit www.csmd.edu/breatheclean.