UNR to go tobacco-free

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UNR to go tobacco-free

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The University of Nevada, Reno is joining nearly 1,200 other colleges across the country in becoming tobacco-free. The school made the announcement Monday and the new policy will go into effect August 1, 2015.

The policy will apply to students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and will prohibit the use of all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, anywhere on campus. School events, like football games and concerts, will also be tobacco-free.

UNR President Marc Johnson says enforcing the new policy will be a shared responsibility.

"We do not intend to write citations or anything of that nature for anyone who violates the tobacco-free policy," Johnson explains, "but we want to educate in a way that people who are respectful of others on campus can go one another and say, 'You know, this is a tobacco-free campus and we don't use those products on the campus.'"

UNR is the first university in the state to announce a comprehensive policy and Johnson thinks the others will soon follow. Between now and August of 2015, the school will be preparing for the policy by developing and marketing cessation resources like classes, hotlines, and nicotine-replacement therapies.

"We will be mounting a significant educational and tobacco-use cessation program," Johnson explains, "so that any individual who uses tobacco products and they want to use this opportunity to kick the habit, then we want to be there to help them kick the habit."

Already, more than 85 percent of UNR students are tobacco-free according to an annual survey called the National College Health Assessment.