NMU gearing up for tobacco-free deadline

Northern Michigan University is gearing up for a policy change that takes effect on Friday.

In December, the Board of Trustees voted to make NMU one of about 900 college campuses nationwide to go tobacco-free. Those visiting campus this week will observe some new signage indicating the school’s status. By disallowing the use of tobacco products, including chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes, the university hopes to accomplish two goals.

“Two of the main reasons that a lot of universities are becoming tobacco-free or smoke-free is the health benefits for their students, faculty, staff, and even their visitors, but also the cleanliness of the campus,” NMU assistant to the president Cindy Paavola said.

The university spent time educating students and staff about the policy over the spring and summer. It is also taking steps to help out those who affected by the change.

“We realize it’s a big change for the campus, and for some people in particular, it’s a very big change, and we’re trying to work with those people,” Paavola added. “We’re giving them options for cessation workshops, making sure they know the resources available if they choose to quit smoking or using tobacco products.”

Violators of the new policy will face a multi-step procedure, starting with warnings and continuing onto further disciplinary action upon repeat offenses.

For more information on NMU’s tobacco-free policy, visit nmu.edu/tobaccofree.