Smoke free, tobacco free Tech

As of Jan. 1, students, faculty, staff and all visitors will no longer be allowed to smoke or use any tobacco products in university buildings and grounds, TTU affiliated off-campus locations and facilities, and all state vehicles.Previously, smoking was restricted to outdoor areas at least 25 feet beyond exterior doors. But now smoking outdoors on campus will not be allowed. Tobacco usage will be permitted only in private vehicles.

Douglas Airhart, a member of TTU’s building and grounds committee, said the new policy resulted from a grassroots effort from TTU community members who had visited other college campuses with no-smoking, no-tobacco policies.

“The university made the decision to promote a healthy, sanitary environment free from all smoke and tobacco-related debris,” Airhart said.

Sean Ochsenbein, TTU’s SGA president and a student TBR member, said many students he’s talked to support the new policy. All 36 SGA senators voted to support the initiative.

“This is the right move at the right time for Tennessee Tech,” said Ochsenbein. “We are leading the way in creating a healthy environment for students. Government and private agencies have documented second-hand smoke as a cancer-causing agent, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be a tobacco-free campus.”

Other Tennessee Board of Regents universities have similar policies. East Tennessee State University and TTU are the only two “no-smoking, no-tobacco” campuses.

TTU Human Resources, Health Services and Counseling Center offer information to those who may wish to stop using tobacco.