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Don’t smoke ’em if you got ’em

Alissa Widman Neese • Jan 6, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Individuals returning to BGSU Firelands for the spring semester better snuff out their cigarettes before stepping on campus.

A smoking ban went into effect Jan. 1, making it against Bowling Green State University policy to smoke on any university-owned property, including the Huron Township campus.

Smokers must now gather in one of three designated areas to take a puff at BGSU Firelands, all located in outlying campus parking lots. The areas include cigarette receptacles, road paint and signage indicating they are an approved smoking location.

Previously, individuals could smoke cigarettes anywhere on campus, as long as they weren’t inside a building.

Bowling Green State University’s board of trustees voted in June to adopt the smoking ban at both main campus and BGSU Firelands this year.

The ban is a direct result of an Ohio Board of Regents recommendation, which urged all public universities in Ohio to consider becoming smoke-free campuses.

Bowling Green State University’s trustees, with the assistance of a newly formed committee, conducted research and surveys in 2012 to determine how such a change would impact its campus, according to the university’s website. Its findings supported the ban and included individuals from both main campus and BGSU Firelands.

About 60 percent of students who responded to the survey said they supported a smoking ban. Nearly the same amount said they were either frequently or occasionally bothered by smoke on campus.

About 67 percent of faculty and staff members who responded to the survey said they supported the ban, while almost 52 percent said they were either frequently or occasionally bothered by smoke on campus.

“The goal is to promote a healthy and comfortable environment for all students, faculty, staff and visitors,” BGSU Firelands spokesman Dean Schnurr said. “Many other colleges are moving in this direction as well”

Individuals who are caught smoking on campus will likely first receive a verbal warning, while repeat offenders will be subjected to discipline according to the student code of conduct or employee handbook, Schnurr said.

Extreme situations could result in being asked to leave campus, he said.

The ban does not include chewing tobacco or electronic cigarettes, which simulate tobacco smoking but emit vapor instead of smoke.

Preparing for the smoking ban cost BGSU Firelands virtually nothing. Main campus supplied necessary signage, cigarette receptacles came from other areas of campus, and road paint cost less than $10 total.

For more information about the ban, visit bgsu.edu/cleanair.

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