Temple University Plans to Become Tobacco-Free Before 2019 Fall Semester

On April 2, Temple University announced that they would be banning the use of all tobacco products from campus.

This decision was brought forth after a discussion stemming from a report issued last year by the Presidential Smoke-free Campus Task Force that found that the university should ban all tobacco-related products, just as other universities in the region have done.

Temple University president Richard M. Englert wrote in a message to students via email that the new policy aims to “eliminate the use of all tobacco products in all indoor and outdoor spaces at each Temple campus in the United States.” Temple has campuses in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Ambler, as well as two overseas campuses in Tokyo and Rome.

This ban will include both combustible (e.g. cigarettes, cigars, beedi, hookah), nicotine devices (i.e. “e-cigs”) noncombustible products (e.g. snuff, chewing tobacco) and other products that might cause secondhand smoke (e.g. marijuana). The new decision will also prohibit the sale of tobacco and nicotine delivery devices on Temple University campuses.

The goal, for Englert, is to have the policy set in motion by July 1, with full implementation at the start of the 2019 fall semester.

“We plan to attack the issue on a number of fronts, including smoking cessation to help students, faculty and staff break their nicotine addiction,” Englert stated in the message.

The existing smoking policy at Temple bans smoking within a minimum of 25 feet of a building. The report finds that after an extensive observation on five specific parts on campus, the Tuttleman Learning Center/Speakman walkway and the Anderson/Gladfelter Hall walkway were the locations with the most policy violations.

According to the report, Philadelphia has the second-highest smoking rate among the 30 largest cities in the United States. It also notes that within the Philadelphia region, Temple lags behind LaSalle, Jefferson, University of the Sciences and several others.

The report lists benefits of a tobacco-free campus, saying that “creating a comprehensive tobacco-free, clean air campus would reflect Temple University’s commitment to its students and employees to maintain a healthy work and campus living environment”.

So far, there have been mixed reactions from the students at Temple. The biggest problem among students seems to concern the banning of e-cigarettes.

“I agree with the banning tobacco part of it, but I personally disagree with the banning of e-cigs and marijuana. I’m unsure of how the rest of students are going to react and deal with the banning of e-cigs because they’re very popular nowadays,” says a freshman who wishes to remain anonymous.

Whether you are for or against Temple’s recent strike down on tobacco-products, it will definitely be interesting to see how effective it proves to be next semester.