Future campus tobacco ban relies on education

Freshmen Katie Scheetz and Amy Mogensen enjoy a late-night cigarette outside of Taylor Place. (Photo by Tyler Griffin)

The University Senate finalized plans Monday for an education-based tobacco ban that will go into effect August 2013.

The motion was approved with a 55-24 vote during the University Senate’s Sept. 17 meeting.

Kevin Salcido, associate vice president and chief human resources officer, said education is essential to enact the policy.

“We’re relying on (education) and soft peer pressure,” he said. “With adequate notice and adequate support for those who smoke, they will find a strategy to quit or manage it while they attend classes.”

The University will announce the policy in November, Salcido said.

“We are announcing this nine months ahead of time (and) we are supporting this with education,” he said during the Senate meeting. “After several weeks, or months, it will be the normal way to conduct business at ASU.”

A website designed to inform and offer counseling services for students, faculty and staff will be launched alongside the announcement, Salcido said.

“(The website) is a combination of ASU and community-based resources,” he said.

ASU will help anybody who wishes to quit smoking, Salcido said.

“We’ll even have things like free nicotine gum and nicotine patches,” he said. “We really want to see a healthy ASU community.”

Emeritus College Senator Susan Mattson voted to approve the campus-wide tobacco ban last month.

“It’s a health hazard and it harms all people,” she said. “For cleanliness, health reasons and air pollution, this is the right way to go.”

Mattson, who was a professor at the College of Nursing, said she used to smoke and knows quitting is not easy.

“I do understand how difficult it can be (to quit),” she said. “That’s why this motion works; it offers help to get rid of the addiction.”

Designated smoking areas do not work, Mattson said.

“People still have to walk past them,” she said. “Any way you see it, it’s still dangerous to everybody.”

Special education junior Tayler Gonzalez, who smokes, said she thinks education alone will not suffice to enforce the policy.

“People will find a bush and smoke behind it if they have to,” she said. “There should just be designated smoking areas.”

Gonzalez said she plans to quit smoking before the enactment of the policy.

“I don’t think the University should regulate this sort of stuff,” she said, “but it might be a good time to quit for some.”

Communication junior Doug Deyo said he will use the resources offered by ASU to quit smoking.

“This can improve campus health and help lots of people quit,” he said. “Just like anything else, it will become second nature.”

Security staff should focus on enforcing the ban, Deyo said.

“There needs to be some security (and) maybe penalties involved,” he said. “Otherwise, people will get away with it.”

 

Reach the reporter at dpbaltaz@asu.edu