TWU to Ban All Tobacco on Campus - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

TWU to Ban All Tobacco on Campus



    Texas Woman's University is the latest college going smoke-free. Tobacco will be banned on their Dallas, Houston and main Denton campuses starting this fall. (Published Monday, June 10, 2013)

    Texas Woman's University will be the latest college in the state to go smoke-free when regular classes resume in the fall.

    The Board of Regents unanimously voted Friday to ban all tobacco use on the university's Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses.

    University leaders said the decision came after a recent campus survey showed massive support from both students and staff members to amend the current tobacco policy.

    "Overwhelmingly, they wanted to be smoke-free," Richard Nicholas, vice president for student life.

    Student Regent Joleesia Berry, who delivered the recommendation to the board, said she feels the student body supports the move.

    "I really don't see too many students that actually are smoking on campus," she said.

    The largest argument she heard in favor of a ban was that TWU is such a health-based campus that its tobacco policy should reflect that, she said.

    "They're wondering why we're being left behind versus other campuses they researched in Texas that were smoke-free," Berry said.

    Student Christina Sherman said she was happy to hear of the ban.

    "With all of the nursing majors and health professions, you kind of have to walk the walk as well as talk the talk," she said. "If you choose to smoke, I think that's your choice, but you shouldn't put other people's health at risk."

    The university's current policy already bans smoking inside of buildings. The current 20 designated smoking areas will go away this fall.

    "I don't smoke personally, but I know a lot of people who do, so that might kind of irritate them," student Britney Carr said.

    TWU will join fellow Denton-based University of North Texas, which launched a smoking ban on campus in January. The city of Denton also started enforcing a ban on smoking in restaurants as of mid-May.

    "There's a lot of places, cities, restaurants, other universities that have made the same decision, and we feel it's the right thing to do," Nicholas said.

    The University of Texas at Arlington banned tobacco in 2011.

    TWU's Houston campus already falls under an all-out ban because of city ordinances there.

    "To walk on campus and not smell that smell -- no offense to those who do smoke but, you know, it is going to be a wonderful environment," Berry said.