PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Temple University will soon be a tobacco-free campus and some students are already pushing back. The university has announced they will be banning the use of tobacco products in all indoor and outdoor spaces at each Temple campus in the United States.
University President Richard Englert made the announcement Tuesday, stating the decision was made following a report from the Presidential Smokefree Campus Task Force.
“Last year, the Presidential Smokefree Campus Task Force issued its final report,” Englert said. “After extensive data collection and review, the task force recommended Temple should join the growing number of universities that are committed to the creation of a healthier working, learning and living environment.”
The task force, which was led by College of Public Health Dean Laura Siminoff and was comprised of students, faculty and staff, collected and reviewed data on policy options for the university to address the dangers of secondhand smoke and tobacco use on campus.
The policy has an initial soft side.
“Letting folks know that our focus is going to be on compassionate enforcement, helping individuals connect with the resources so they’re aware,” said Dr. Jennifer Ibrahim, of the College of Public Health.
Public health majors did the heavy lifting. For years, they and graduates before them eyeballed a tobacco policy.
“I think it’s important to ensure every one has access to a cleaner, healthier living environment,” said Tirzah Sheppard.
The university hopes the ban will help students, faculty and staff break their nicotine addiction and create a healthier campus.
“It’s more of a culture change. I think most realize it’s not punishment based, we’re trying to help in the long run,” said Courtney Cunningham.
Resistance to change is expected as some students have told the university to butt out.
“I don’t think anybody is going to listen, or they’re going to have pushback,” said student Ryan Fiordiomando. “People are rebellious.”
“If you’re 18, and you make the choice to smoke tobacco, I don’t think the university having a tobacco-free policy is going to cut your nicotine addiction,” said student Luke Sullivan.
School officials plan to have the policy in place by July 1, with full implementation taking place at the start of the 2019 fall semester.
Click here to read the task force’s full report.