RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Commonwealth University is considering adopting a policy to make its campus smoke and tobacco-free as the school pushes an initiative for a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty and staff.
The proposed policy includes all types of tobacco, not limited to smoking tobacco, e-cigarettes and vaping, on campus.
On its site, VCU details the policy and cites health and safety concerns — including reducing campus fires — for the reason behind the proposal.
Tom Briggs, VCU’s Assistant Vice President for Safety and Risk Management, told 8News “the purpose of the policy is to increase the safety and health of our student body and our faculty and staff.”The university has buildings in the heart of Richmond, but Briggs says the policy would only apply to VCU property, not city sidewalks.
“I think it would improve the health of the community as a whole,” said Briggs
The proposed Smoke and Tobacco-Free Campus policy applies to all university property, both indoor and outdoor, including, but not limited to, all offices, classrooms, hallways, waiting rooms, restrooms, meeting rooms, community areas, performance venues, parking garages, covered walkways, temporary enclosed structures, trailers, and tents, the Compass, McGuire Park and residence halls, unless permitted by the terms of this policy.”
-Virginia Commonwealth University
If approved, some students want to see the smoke free policy go into effect on July 1.
“I think it would just be healthier for everyone and better,” said student Paloma Ferraz, “the people who don’t smoke and just don’t want to breathe second-hand smoke.”
Other students believe the policy wouldn’t stop people from smoking.
“I feel like it’s going to make the issue worse because people are just going to find ways to do it like in secrecy,” Joshua Ricketts, another VCU Student, said.
While there could be designated areas on campus for smokers in the future, VCU was clear the proposed policy would apply to all university property.
The proposed policy is open for comment until April 12. You can read and comment on the police here.