Starting August 14, Alaska Pacific University will join its peers in the U-Med District in becoming a smoke and tobacco-free campus.
The policy, enacted by the Board of Trustees, will now ban cigarettes (both traditional and electric), cigars, pipes, hookahs, and chewing tobacco in all APU buildings and on university grounds, trails, and parking lots with the purpose of creating a health-supporting community for everyone — tobacco-users and non-users alike.
“I am pleased to see our university join the growing list of many higher education institutions across this Country to become smoke and tobacco free,” said Board of Trustees member Jim Roberts. “A healthier and smoke-free environment promotes the APU values of leadership, responsibility and self-direction. I am proud that APU is promoting a healthy environment for learning, teaching, working, and living within our community.”
APU is one of more than 1,900 colleges campuses in the country that have enacted 100 percent smoke-free or tobacco-free policies.
The push to go smoke and tobacco-free was led by Chelsea Farrell, a spring 2017 graduate. Farrell, a Counseling Psychology major, chose the service learning project as part of her senior project.
Farrell’s senior project, which got rolling in March 2016, laid out stages to becoming smoke and tobacco-free, which included a participatory process in which students, faculty, and staff were invited to discuss and debate the merits of the policy before it was sent to the Board of Trustees.
Interim President Robert Onders said he was pleased the proposal came from a student lead initiative, adding that APU “values student ideas and engagement as an avenue to improve the University.”
Deb Codding, an APU staff member in the IT department and longtime smoker, has helped lead the committee responsible for implementing the policy. As she sees it, the reasoning behind the policy “is to respect each other and the environment in which we all co-exist.”
Community members will see signs announcing the policy implementation in coming weeks.
Faculty, staff, and students are asked to assist with the implementation of the policy by respectfully informing violators of the policy that APU is a smoke and tobacco-free campus.