Allen University Becomes Smoke and Tobacco-Free Campus

Allen University Smoke and Tobacco-Free logo
Male student holds bag of cigarette debris collected during Kick Butts Day.
This previous spring, Allen University held Kick Butts Day, a campus clean-up of cigarette debris.

Allen University is now a smoke and tobacco-free campus, university officials announced. The new policy prohibits any persons on campus from smoking and using tobacco products in all outside areas of the campus, such as parking lots and The Quad, as well as university owned or leased buildings, including residence halls, sport facilities, and office and academic buildings. Additionally, the use of tobacco products is prohibited in personal vehicles parked on university property. Enforcement of the policy will occur in the fall of 2019.

The Allen University Smoke and Tobacco-Free Policy is part of the university’s on-going efforts to provide a safe and healthy learning and working environment for the campus community. The policy also focuses on encouraging smokers to quit and includes cessation and prevention education components.

“We know all too well the risks of smoking and the dangers from second-hand smoke,” said Allen University President Dr. Ernest McNealey. As a university committed to the health and personal well-being of our students, faculty, staff and even campus visitors, adopting and enforcing a smoke and tobacco-free policy will help to create a better environment from which we all will benefit,” said Dr. McNealey.

With campus-wide support, the policy developed from a two years-long effort to transition to a smoke and tobacco-free campus, funded by Truth Initiative. The Washington, D.C.-based non-profit health organization works to prevent youth and young adults from using tobacco products.

Through a $20,00 grant, Allen University conducted a series of educational seminars on the hazards of smoking and ways to adopt a tobacco-free lifestyle; hosted campus events such as Kick Butts Day, a campus cleanup of cigarette butts; and trained two student leaders who have been empowered to help motivate their peers to reject tobacco products. The transition was led by a task force comprised of faculty, staff and students representing various departments from across the campus. Dean of the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Dr. Steffani Driggins, and Assistant Professor of the Dickerson-Green Theological Seminary Dr. Daniel Hembree serve as co-chairs of the task force.

The university will officially kick off its designation as a smoke and tobacco-free campus in fall 2019, when the new academic year begins. Additional information pertaining to cessation programs and other resources will be forthcoming.