BGSU snuffs out smoking PDF Print E-mail
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel-Tribune Editor   
Monday, 24 June 2013 09:15
File photo. A smoker is seen carrying a cigarette while walking on the main campus of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio on March 11, 2013. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Smokers at Bowling Green State University will no longer be able to light up as they walk across campus, sit in the Union Oval or watch outdoor sporting events.
Under a new smoking ban adopted Friday by the BGSU Board of Trustees, smoking will be allowed on campus only in designated outdoor areas - parking lots.
"This is a very emotional issue," Jill Carr, dean of students at BGSU, said Friday to the trustees.
The decision comes nearly a year after the Ohio Board of Regents recommended that all university campuses become smoke free inside and outside.
Carr explained a series of surveys and meetings were held at BGSU to seek input on the issue.
One of the options considered was banning smoking completely on campus. However, BGSU officials were concerned that smokers would then be pushed to the fringes of campus, and become a problem for those homeowners along the edge of university property, Carr said. So, the recommendation was made to allow smoking just in parking lots - where it would be difficult to enforce a ban anyway, she said.
The ban will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2014. To prepare for the change, university officials will educate smokers and market the ban during the fall semester. Cigarette receptacles will be moved to parking lots, to encourage smokers to restrict their habit to those areas.
"Sometimes smokers think the world is their ashtray," Carr said, noting that officials hope smokers follow the rules.
In extreme situations of repeat violations, the university police may be called to enforce the ban. Violators may face consequences from the Student Code of Conduct or the BGSU Employee Handbook.
The policy will cover all facilities owned or leased by the university, and restricts faculty, staff, students and visitors. The ban will not cover electronic cigarettes since they do not emit carcinogens.
"We all, as a community have to agree to work together" to make the ban work, Carr said.
BGSU offers smoking cessation programs for employees through the Employee Assistance Program and for students through the Counseling Center.
Prior to Friday's adoption by the trustees, the smoking ban was endorsed by Classified Staff Council, Administrative Staff Council, Faculty Senate, Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Senate.

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