ASU, smokers grapple with tobacco ban

Tim Goral's picture
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Arizona State is the latest higher education institution to implement a tobacco ban on its campuses. Hundreds of colleges and universities around the country have already put such policies in place, but Arizona State faces questions over enforcement.

"Why is there no smoking if no one is actually doing something about it?" freshman Karina Munoz asked.

University officials are using a "self-enforcement" strategy when it comes to ending smoking on campus. Police and staff are provided with very few guidelines to implement it. Also, there are no penalties according to the Academic Affairs Manual, which outlines the Tobacco-Free Campus policy.

"We like to use the term 'education' as opposed to 'enforcement,'" ASU Associate Vice President Kevin Salcido said.

Between semesters, the university spent nearly $40,000 on signage with the intent to educate the student body on the new policy, but smokers are still found around campus, sometimes smoking within just feet of those signs warning them of the no smoking policy.

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