Effective Jan. 1 2019 smoking will be banned on state campuses due to an executive order signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Nov. 2. The use of any substance including marijuana, tobacco and cloves will be prohibited.
Due to federal law marijuana is already a banned substance on Fort Lewis College’s campus.
In an email sent to FLC students FLC President Tom Stritikus said that the ban includes cigarettes, bidis, kreteks, e-cigarettes, etc and all smoke-producing products including cigars, pipes, hookahs and vaporizers.
“Smoking is a major health concern,” Stritikus said. “We know that second hand smoke has documented serious health impacts on people and we care about the well being of our students, so thinking through both a well being and health lens makes this a really sound decision on the governor's part and one we want to implement.”
The ban also prohibits smoking at bus stops, city owned parks, city owned recreational and ball fields excluding the Hillcrest Golf course and the Animas River Trail and its adjacent greenway which is owned by the city, Stritikus said in an email.
The FLC Police Department will not be issuing citations for smoking on campus because it is not a state law, FLC Police Chief Brett Deming said.
The policy is a campus policy and the enforcement would be coming from the Office of Student Affairs or the Housing Department, he said.
FLC administration understands the difficulty this new policy imposes on some students and are seeking ways to provide ways to provide these students support, ASFLC President Chance Salway said.
In his email to the school Stritikus offered links to resources for help quitting smoking including the Colorado QuitLine, Become an EX, Tobacco Free CO and smokefree.gov.
The FLC Health Center is currently working on a plan to offer resources to students seeking to quit smoking, Rene Klotz, Clinical Director of the FLC Health Center said.
Starting Jan. 1 the college will be offering free appointments at the FLC Health Center to students looking to quit, Klotz said.
The school will be offering free Nicorette gum for the remainder of the academic year, Glenna Sexton, Vice President for Student affairs said in an email to The Independent.
The school also offers smoking cessation techniques in addition to the replacement gum, but these options, including Chantix and Bupropion, are not part of the free program provided by the school.
Both of these medications are taken for 12 weeks and require close follow up appointments because of their effect on brain transmitters, Klotz said.
These options also require follow up appointments with the Health Center to monitor its side effects.
Before this executive order nine state campuses in Colorado were already smoke-free, Stritikus said.
Implementation of the order has already started with signage being put up at smoking benches.
Sexton said in an email to The Independent that the enforcement would start as community enforcement.
“We ask that the FLC community work collectively to provide a healthy environment for all—that means smokers would not smoke or vape on campus and our community will remind each other that smoking is no longer permitted on campus (or other Colorado campuses),” Sexton said.
If students continue to smoke it could turn into a student conduct issue, she said.
Stritikus is open to the community providing their feedback to him, he said.