LOWELL -- UMass Lowell will be a smoke- and tobacco-free campus this fall as the result of a year-long campaign by the student government.
Beginning in the fall, the university will also team with Lowell General Hospital to offer eight-week programs for students, faculty and staff looking to quit tobacco products, UMass Lowell announced Tuesday.
The student-led effort began last fall with the Student Government Association's campus life and environment committee, according to the university. The student government passed a resolution supporting the change last October, and a petition in support of the proposal received more than 2,000 signatures.
The Faculty senate passed a resolution in support last month.
"Working to make UMass Lowell a tobacco-free campus over the past year has been a rewarding and meaningful experience," Amanda Robinson, Student Government Association president and one of the tobacco-free campaign's leaders, said in a statement.
"It has been inspiring to watch countless clubs, organizations and individuals come together for the purpose of creating a healthier living and learning environment on our campus," she said.
Chancellor Marty Meehan called the campus ban on smoke and tobacco "a great example of student civic engagement and a model for how to initiate a culture change on a college campus."
"I fought big tobacco in Congress because of the insurmountable evidence proving its detrimental impact on our health and our economy. I applaud the Student Government Association and other student leaders for a comprehensive, well-executed and successful campaign to change the environment where they live and learn for the better."
The university's current policy restricts smoking from within 25 feet of campus buildings.
The flagship UMass campus in Amherst went tobacco-free last year. UMass Dartmouth announced Monday will go tobacco-free in June 2015, and said 10 of the state's 29 public colleges are now tobacco-free.
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