Wichita State to become tobacco free in July

Wichita State University (KSN File photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Starting July 1, 2017, Wichita State University and all of its satellite locations and WSU-owned properties will be tobacco free.

The new tobacco-free campus policy, passed in August by President John Bardo’s executive team, eliminates the use of any tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah and electronic cigarettes.

Wichita State joins more than 1,100 college campuses in the United States that are tobacco free.

A 2013 WSU survey revealed that 64.8 percent of the respondents were supportive of a tobacco-free campus and 65.5 percent agreed a tobacco-free policy would increase overall campus appeal.

Tobacco cessation options will be available to students, faculty and staff.

“This demonstrates a commitment to the health of all students, faculty, staff and visitors, as well as preparing the workforce for an increasingly tobacco-free work environment,” says Tara Nolen, tobacco control coordinator for Sedgwick County.


  1. Tobacco use may be permitted for controlled research with prior approval of the dean or director responsible for the facility.
  2. Tobacco use may be permitted for educational, clinical or religious ceremonial purposes with prior approval of the dean or director responsible for the program or facility.
  3. Tobacco use may be permitted in designated areas outside of WSU-ICAA controlled athletic facilities during scheduled events, with prior approval of the Director of Athletics or designee.
  4. Tobacco use may be permitted in accordance with Kansas law within designated areas of those buildings on land leased by Wichita State Innovation Alliance or third parties with prior approval of the Associate Vice President for Facilities for WSU.


WSU Campus
WSU Campus includes buildings, structures, parking structures, enclosed bridges, walkways, sidewalks and parking lots owned, leased or operated by WSU.

Tobacco Products
Tobacco products are defined as all tobacco-derived or containing products, including but not limited to the following:

  • cigarettes;
  • electronic cigarettes;
  • electronic smoking devices;
  • vaping products;
  • cigars;
  • products smoked in any type of pipe;
  • smokeless tobacco;
  • oral tobacco (spit producing, non-spit producing, smokeless, chew and snuff)
  • nasal tobacco;
  • products intended to mimic tobacco products that contain tobacco flavoring;
  • products that deliver nicotine other than for the purpose of cessation, as approved by the FDA (e.g. nicotine patch, nicotine gum).

Electronic Smoking Device
Electronic smoking device means any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person to simulate smoking through inhalation of vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape pen, or under any other product name or descriptor.

Hookah means a water pipe and any associated products and devices which are used to produce fumes, smoke and/or vapor from the burning of material including, but not limited to, tobacco, shisha or other plant matter.

Smoking means inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant products intended for inhalation, including hookahs and marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device that creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this policy.

Adherence to this policy is the responsibility of all members of the University community. It is expected that, while on campus, students, employees, visitors, University affiliates, contractors and volunteers will comply with this policy. Members of the University community are empowered to respectfully inform others about the policy in an ongoing effort to enhance awareness of and encourage compliance with the policy.

The successful implementation of the policy on July 1, 2017, will engage Student and Faculty Ambassadors in creating a tobacco-free culture based on respectful compliance from the campus community. Ambassadors will be trained to use scripted, courteous messages, reminding/informing students, employees and visitors that Wichita State University is a tobacco-free campus and directing them to available cessations services.