St. Norbert College to become 100 percent tobacco-free

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DE PERE, Wis (WBAY) -- St. Norbert College students returning from Christmas break will notice a new policy on campus.

Beginning January 2, 2019, the college will be 100 percent tobacco-free.

Within the past year, St. Norbert College identified a change on campus it needed to make to fall in line with 26 other colleges and universities in Wisconsin.

"How to improve the well-being of our community, and one of the things we noticed is other campuses had been completely tobacco-free and we had just been building to tobacco-free, so we wanted to catch up with the times," says Thomas Doughman, St. Norbert College Assistant Director of Counseling.

Currently, the college has designated areas outside buildings where students, faculty and staff can smoke.

"We're promoting learning and expanding our minds, but then we'd see people using tobacco products and it was just a not a very positive image," says Doughman.

A recent survey by the college found 6 percent of students use tobacco, such as cigarettes or chew.

Also included in the new policy is a ban on E-cigarette use.

"I do believe that vaping is the number one most used product among young people, and putting nicotine in your body is not considered a healthy option," says Chrystal Woller, St. Norbert College Health & Wellness Senior Director.

"Think it's super important. A lot of people don't realize the dangers of second hand smoke. I actually got bronchitis as a kid because my parents smoked, so I think it's really great we're doing this," adds St. Norbert College senior Jillaine Jackson.

The tobacco-free policy is part of St. Norbert's new Wellness by Design program aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle.

"People that initiate tobacco usage start usually before the age of 18 or 21, and it can become a lifetime problem so we want to prevent something from becoming a problem before it even starts," says Doughman.