Students Refuse to Follow Tobacco-Free Initiative

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ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio University is hoping to make its Tobacco-free Initiative a campus policy within the next few years.

The initiative became effective as of August 1, 2015 in an effort to reduce tobacco use on campus. As a part of that initiative are tobacco cessation courses offered at no cost by the university’s Heath Promotion Department.

Ohio University Tobacco-Free Initiative sign outside of Alden Library
Ohio University Tobacco-Free Initiative sign outside Alden Library

When the initiative was put in place, the university asked all employees, students, residents, visitors, and customers to refrain from using tobacco products on campus.

In addition, the university started an ambassador program for volunteers to commit to weekly walks around campus to remind people of the tobacco-free policy.

“I smoke because I’m stressed, I’m not going to stop”

Students have expressed mixed feelings concerning the initiative saying that if the university employees can’t follow the rules then they aren’t going to either.

“I always see janitors smoking outside of the dorms,” said Ohio University student Zach Logsdon.

While some students said they don’t plan to quit smoking, most agree something should be done about the trash left by smokers around campus.

“I smoke because I’m stressed, I’m not going to stop,” Ohio University student Jared Brown commented. “I think the university should provide something to help reduce some of the unsightlyness of all the trash and cigarette butts.”

Cigarrete butts in a campus flower bed
Cigarrete butts in a flower bed outside Alden Library

The university removed outdoor ashtrays when the initiative became effective.

“The university removed the ashtrays because it would contradict what we are trying to do,” said Associate Director of Heath Promotion Ann Addington. “We want to educate students and make them aware. Our goal is to help as many students as we can to quit tobacco and help with nicotine addiction.”

The initiative is a 3-year process with hopes of it becoming a policy in the 3rd year.

Contact OU For More Information on Tobacco Awareness

For more information on the initiative visit the Ohio University website at

If you’re a student interested in the free tobacco cessation courses, contact Ann Addington at

To sign up to be a student ambassador email