December 21st, 2011
George Fox’s decision to go completely smoke-free dovetails with nationwide trend to curb use of all tobacco products on college campuses
NEWBERG, Ore. – While the school’s student and employee handbooks prohibit tobacco use by traditional undergraduate students and employees, George Fox University will take its tobacco-use policy a step further on Jan. 1, 2012, by prohibiting the use of all forms of tobacco products on campus.
The decision supports the American Lung Association’s Oregon Tobacco-Free College Initiative and dovetails with a growing trend to restrict the use of tobacco on college campuses nationwide.
“We believe it’s important to provide a healthy workplace and educational environment for our students, employees and guests,” said Mark Pothoff, dean of community life at George Fox. “This change made sense for numerous reasons. It ensures our community and visitors will not have to encounter secondhand smoke on our campus, and it aligns with the current policy for employees and undergraduate students.”
Under the current policy, the university provides a smoke-free environment to its employees and students but does allow guests to smoke outside of buildings. As of Jan. 1, all forms of tobacco use will not be permitted on the school’s residential campus in Newberg, Ore., or Portland Center in Portland, Ore.
The policy change supports the Oregon Tobacco-Free College Initiative, an American Lung Association of Oregon-sponsored campaign that has worked the past two years with community colleges statewide to restrict tobacco use on campuses, with the goal of promoting healthier and more accessible learning and work environments for college students, staff, faculty and visitors, according to the association’s website.
Currently, more than a dozen college campuses in Oregon have joined the nearly 500 colleges and universities nationwide (as of May 2011) that are smoke-free, according to the American Lung Association of Oregon. Among those joining the initiative in Oregon are the state’s two biggest institutions, Oregon and Oregon State, which will begin enforcing the tobacco-free policy in fall of 2012.
“We have very little smoking by guests on the Newberg campus, so this change may not make a noticeable difference on a day-to-day basis to most people,” Pothoff said. “The impact may be greater at the Portland campus, but we felt it was important to make the change on the two campuses owned by the university.”
As part of the implementation of the new policy, the university plans to erect signs on its campuses that specifically designate George Fox as a tobacco-free institution.
For more information on George Fox’s policy change, contact Pothoff at 503-554-2313 or visit this webpage.
George Fox University is ranked by Forbes and Kiplinger’s among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first tier regional university and a “Best Value” school. More than 3,500 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond, Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 11 master’s and doctoral degrees.
Dean of Community Life, George Fox University