ASU on-campus smoking ban to take effect in August 2013

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The on-campus smoking ban will start in August 2013. Members of the University Senate, which passed the rules, said it will be easier for students on the smaller campuses to cross the street to take a smoke break. (Cydney McFarland/DD)

Students will have to trek farther away for their smoke break between classes starting next year. All ASU campuses and buildings will become smoke-free beginning Aug. 1, 2013.

When the new rules takes effect at the start of the fall semester, students will have to go off-campus to smoke. The ban includes Taylor Place, the area between the University Center and the Cronkite building, the Mercado building, the Post Office and Civic Space Park, according to a map released by the university.

“Well, I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish, but I honestly don’t think it is going to affect anything,” journalism freshman Katie Powell said. “Students aren’t going to cut back on or quit smoking. They’re simply going to walk across the street and light up.”

The University Senate, which is largely made up of ASU staff, passed the motion on Sept. 17. The group explained that it pushed for the ban for several reasons, such as students pushing for it for three years, according to Senate documents.

“The whole purpose of making the university smoke-free is to promote university health,” said Mirna Lattouf, past Senate president of the Downtown campus.

However, journalism student Molly Bock disagrees with the ban.

“There’s already a designated area for us to go,” Bock said. “It’s my choice on whether I want to smoke or not. No one has to sit on this bench if they don’t want to.”

Bock was referring to the bench outside of the Cronkite School, which is a designated smoking area.

“There really is a divide among the students, it’s those who smoke vs. those who don’t,” Lattouf said.

The red highlights on the map show the areas that will be designated as tobacco-free zones after the on-campus smoking ban goes into effect. (Courtesy of Arizona State University)

Journalism sophomore Kyle Payne agrees with the motion, but thinks its overstepping the Senate’s power.

“I’m in favor of it, just because I personally think that smoking is bad, but I can see how it’s infringing on people’s rights,” Payne said, “It’s not really the school’s place to regulate people. At the same time I support limiting smoke areas in general.”

Both Lattouf and current University Senate President Mark Lussier said they realize the importance of finding off-campus smoking areas for the both the ASU students and faculty at all four campus, especially the larger Tempe and West campuses.

“Students and faculty at the Downtown campus will have a little bit of an easier time finding areas near campus to smoke because of the size of the Downtown campus compared to Tempe or West,” Lussier said.

Lussier suggests that students visit “ASU Is Going Tobacco-Free,” which offers a map of all four ASU campuses and designates what areas students, faculty and visitors are allowed to smoke.

The site also offers tools that help students who want to quit smoking and has information on the official policy.

Contact the reporter at agnelso2@asu.edu