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Williston State Goes Tobacco-Free

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
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Article courtesy of KUMV-TV.

With smoking rates in the United States at a 70-year low, Williston State College has decided to go tobacco-free.

"The big issue in becoming tobacco free is having buy in from your faculty, staff, students, and leadership. And we believe all those pieces are together, and that's the only piece that needs to be made in terms of a decision making process," said President Raymond Nadolny.

A recent Gallup Poll shows only one in five Americans have had a cigarette in the past week. Nadolny says the decrease in popularity factored in to the decision

"I believe the tobacco free campus just adds to the quality of life."

The idea was originally brought to campus officials by students two years ago. Freshman Anna Peterson has Asthma, so she's all for the ban.

"I feel that WSC should become tobacco free just because it does affect a lot of people who have medical conditions like asthma, or they just don't want to be around it."

The ban will apply to everyone stepping foot on campus. And fines will be enforced.

"This applies to the 10,000 people we have in workforce training, it applies to the approximately 1,000 students we have, it applies to people who come on to campus to visit. So its not something where you can go in your car and smoke, tobacco-free means that it's off campus," said Nadolny.

The school hasn't had any complaints about the decision yet, but properties surrounding the school could be affected. At similar tobacco-free campuses, It's not uncommon for students to simply cross the street to have a smoke. Nadolny knows there are potential problems.

"We anticipate that faculty and staff will be driving across the street, and when those issues come up we will deal with them directly. Because we want to be good neighbors, and we want to make sure that for our faculty staff and students that we find a place. And we may have to identify a place of site for smoking, so we'll have to be creative in how we respond to this."

Come January 1, campus-goers will have to find a new place to light up.