United Tribes News
Date November 21, 2013
David M. Gipp signing UTTC’s Tobacco Free Policy. Looking on is Pat Aune, UTTC Wellness Circle coordinator.
BISMARCK (UTN) - United Tribes Technical College has become the first tribal college in North Dakota to adopt a “Tobacco Free” campus policy. College President David M. Gipp signed the policy November 21 on the anniversary of the 38th annual Great American Smoke Out.
“United Tribes is committed to the health and wellbeing of the children, students, faculty and staff of our campus, and to visitors who come here,” said Gipp. “Our goal is to help protect our campus community from the harmful effects of tobacco use while maintaining our respect for Native traditions.”
The new policy takes effect January 1, 2014. It prohibits the use of tobacco on campus properties, in campus-owned vehicles, and at institution sponsored off-campus functions. It includes any product containing tobacco or manufactured from it, or containing nicotine. It also prohibits the use of e-cigarettes.
Exempted is the traditional or sacred use of tobacco. United Tribes will continue to be a “tobacco honoring” campus for Native American spiritual and cultural ceremonies, when requests are made and approved in advance.
Currently 13 college campuses in North Dakota have tobacco-free policies. Several others are smoke-free. United Tribes is the third tribal college nationwide to take the more comprehensive step to become tobacco-free, joining Fort Peck Community College, Poplar, MT, and Oglala Lakota College, Kyle, SD.
The United Tribes policy is an outgrowth of a campus wellness initiative started 12 years ago. The effort to curb smoking parallels state and national programs aimed at improving learning and productivity, lowering rates of absenteeism, and addressing organizational health insurance issues.
The policy was developed by the United Tribes Wellness Circle, in cooperation with Bismarck Burleigh Public Health, the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control and Policy, and was adopted by the college’s administrative council.
According to Jeanne Prom, executive director of the Center, tobacco-free policies shape how the younger generation perceives tobacco use.
“We’re incredibly grateful that United Tribes has taken this important step,” said Prom. “It’s a clear statement that your campus values health. It demonstrates that a tobacco-free life is encouraged and supported.”
According to Prom, the tobacco industry attempts to take advantage of college age youth, understanding this is when many long-term lifestyle choices are made.
Witnessing the signing were members of the United Tribes staff and faculty, and youngsters who attend Theodore Jamerson Elementary School on the college campus. The K - 8 students are children of those attending college.
Also present was a group of human services professionals from Russia, participating in the Dacotah Territory International Visitor Program’s Open World Leadership Program.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease. Last year, tobacco use killed 800 North Dakotans prematurely and cost the state over $247 million in healthcare.
UTTC’s new policy places more importance on quitting smoking. The college’s Wellness Center will host a series of smoking cessation programs beginning in the new year. UTTC’s Family Nurse Practitioner, Ian Grey Bull, will be available to provide individual attention during his regular hours in the wellness center. Assistance from additional, off campus sources will also be provided.
“Commercial Tobacco” is defined to include any product that contains tobacco, is manufactured from tobacco, or contains nicotine. This excludes any FDA approved nicotine replacement therapy. "Smoking" means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, in any manner or in any form. Smoking also includes the use of an e-cigarette which creates a vapor, in any manner or any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking.
Sacred Use of Tobacco
We recognize the importance of ceremonial tobacco and have developed the following procedure: An organization or group that wants to use sacred tobacco for an event is required to submit their request in writing, describing the event in advance and submit the request to the Vice President of Student and Campus Services. The vice president will approve or deny the request.
UTTC Tobacco Free Policy
- Commercial tobacco is defined above as all tobacco-derived products sold commercially, including, but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, hookah-smoked products, spit and smokeless tobacco, chew, snuff, snus, clove cigarettes, bidis, kreteks, cigarillos, e-cigarettes, hookahs and dissolvable products.
- Tobacco use is prohibited on all campus grounds, in all campus-owned properties, and in all campus-owned vehicles.
- Tobacco use is also prohibited at all institution sponsored off-campus functions.
- Tobacco sales, industry promotions, advertising, marketing, and distribution are prohibited.
- Tobacco industry and related company sponsorship of campus groups, events, individuals, and departments is prohibited. This includes scholarships, sponsorship of faculty positions, and recruiting for employment.
- The tobacco policy is clearly posted in employee and student handbooks, on the campus website, and in other relevant publications.
- The college will not own tobacco company stocks and holdings.
- The college does not accept any direct funding from tobacco companies.
Tobacco Cessation Services
Students, faculty and staff seeking assistance to deal with their tobacco addiction are urged to contact the Student Health Center where medicine, support and peer mentoring is available at no cost. The state of North Dakota provides an online program NDQuits, a toll-free number 1.800.784.8669 or web based program all free of charge, www.ndhealth.gov/ndquits.
All individuals on campus property or at an off-campus, school-sponsored event share in the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing this policy. All members of the United Tribes Technical College campus community are expected to support this policy and cooperate in its implementation and enforcement. Students, staff and visitors violating this policy should be reminded of the policy and asked to comply.
Employees who violate the Tobacco Free policy are subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Section 6-15 of the Employee Policies Handbook, 5-15 Disciplinary Policies and Procedures (progressive discipline).
Violations of this policy by students may be cause for disciplinary action in accordance with student code of conduct contained in the student manual.
Visitors violating this tobacco-free policy will be asked to refrain from using tobacco products while on campus property or to leave the premises in accordance with the college’s enforcement plan.
Communicating Policy to Students, Staff, & Public
This policy will be printed in the employee and the student handbooks. The United Tribes Technical College shall post signs indicating that the campus property is tobacco-free in all locations and in the manner identified in NDCC 23-12-10.4.1(a) and (b). In addition, notices should be posted in other highly visible places on campus property including, but not limited to, walkways, athletic fields, parking lots and at all off-campus, school-sponsored events. Students, faculty and staff will be notified of this policy in writing, and the local media will be asked to communicate this tobacco-free policy communitywide.
Marketing and Signage
Upon adoption of the Tobacco Free Campus policy the Wellness Circle will complete an application to the Administrative Council with the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control. This state agency reviews policy and releases funding for signage and implementation supplies upon approval of the final comprehensive tobacco free policy. The marketing materials and signage would be developed and produced at Arrow Graphics with the inclusion of funding source: ”BreatheND Saving lives, saving money. The voice of the people.”
Upon adoption of the policy it is recommend that all printed materials, advertisements for conferences and gatherings, all rental forms and contracts include a statement: “UTTC is committed to the health and wellbeing of the children, students, staff and faculty of our campus community and the health and wellbeing of all visitors to our campus therefore we are TOBACCO FREE.”
Adopted November 21, 2013
Signed by David M. Gipp, President
United Tribes Technical College
United Tribes News
3315 University Drive
Bismarck, ND 58504
(701) 255-3285 ext. 1386