ASHLAND, Va. (WWBT) - Randolph-Macon College will soon have a smoke and vape-free campus.
Effective Nov. 1, smoking and vaping in any form will be prohibited in college-owned or managed facilities and property.
“We will become a campus that is smoke-free, vape-free, and nicotine product free on our property,” Dean of Students Dr. Grant Azdell said.
As part of the new change, “those 21 years of age and older may only use nicotine or vaping products on public property, such as town streets or sidewalks, immediately adjacent to any campus street.”
Cases of vaping-related illnesses and deaths have been rising fast in the recent weeks, but Azdell says this plan has been in the works for two years, in collaboration with the Student Government Association.
“Those (deaths) are of course unfortunate, and something you don’t want happening in your community. So we take those seriously, but this is just another validation that what we’re doing is the right thing to do," Azdell said.
Students were mixed on this campus-wide ban.
“Tobacco’s not all that good for you, neither is vaping or anything, so I think it’s a good thing,” said Miles Mallory.
“We are a college that requires most of our students to live on campus, and I disagree with the fact of having to make those students who choose to do that in their lives go off campus or stand on the street," said Alec Hurst.
“I feel like it will help us get healthier, in a way, some people might need the encouragement of stopping," added Lindsey Luckado.
That encouragement may even come from the school itself with programs meant to ween people off smoking.
“The world is kind of moving away from these products, and these behaviors and habits, so this is the next step,” said Student Government Association President Max Peterson.
College officials urge smokers to keep Ashland clean by properly disposing of smoking materials.
Information on smoking cessation programs can be found online.
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