University of Minnesota Campuses Become Tobacco-Free

Smoking

Starting from summer 2014 four campuses of University of Minnesota will become tobacco and smoke free. The policy comes into action from July 1 and it prohibits use of tobacco, e-ciagrettes, chewing tobacco on university campuses in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Duluth and Crookston.

The new policy bans distributing,selling and advertising tobacco products and e-cigarettes on university property.  The anti-tobacco initiative comes after University Senate year ago passed a resolution in support of a smoking ban on the Twin Cities campus. Today Eric Kaler, the University President, recognized that Minnesota is behind the curve on the issue in times when more and more colleges and universities become smoke-free.

However, there are some exceptions to the policy. Tobacco use is still permitted inside vehicles on campus. Smoking will be permitted on theatrical productions and traditional Native American ceremonies.

The new policy does not impose any fines or penalties for those who do violate it. It is based more on people’s responsability to ask smoker to stop. Thus the policy success depends on consideration, thoughtfulness and cooperation of tobacco-users and non-users..

Dave Golden, chair of the University Senate’s Social Concerns Committee, told that most campuses use communication and social enforcement to impose smoke- or tobacco- free policies.

Smoking is already prohibited on the University’s Duluth and Crookston campuses. These days smoking is permitted on the Twin Cities campus, but people who smoke must stay 25 feet away from university buildings.

In 2013 a survey found that three percent of students on the Twin Cities campus smoke on a regular basis. In that survey, about two-thirds of students told they support adopting a smoke-free policy on campus.

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