Written by Roy Summerford
Auburn will become a smoke-free campus under a policy that takes effect August 21. In doing so, Auburn joins nearly 1,200 colleges and universities in the United States in recent years to ban smoking on campus.
The policy, which moves the boundaries for smoking of tobacco products to the campus periphery, was recommended by the Campus Health and Wellness Committee and representative bodies and authorized by President Jay Gogue. In addition to students, faculty and staff members, the policy will apply to everyone on campus, including consultants, contractors and visitors.
For the past year, smoking has been prohibited within 25 feet of all university buildings and facilities; previously smoking had long been banned in campus buildings. On Aug. 21, the smoking prohibition will be expanded to cover all university grounds, university-owned vehicles and property leased to or managed by the university with the exceptions of: controlled research, or educational, theatrical or religious ceremonial purposes, with prior approval from the dean or director responsible for the facility; and privately owned vehicles on campus and locations outside of the Auburn University campus perimeter.
Remaining exterior ashtrays for cigarette butts in currently designated smoking-allowed areas on campus are being removed, with some ashtrays relocated to the campus periphery for smokers to extinguish their cigarettes or other tobacco products as they enter campus. Littering the campus with remains of disposable tobacco products is prohibited.
Under the policy, adherence is designated as the responsibility of all students, faculty, staff and visitors of Auburn University. All students, faculty, staff and visitors who are in violation of this policy will be expected to comply by discarding their tobacco product.
As necessary, facility and property managers will regulate enforcement of this policy, including but not limited to, posting appropriate signage. Any concerns about and/or violations of the policy will be brought to the attention of the individuals responsible for the operation of the university facility in question and/or the supervisor responsible for the work area.
The Campus Health and Wellness Committee will monitor the policy. The committee chair is appointed by the university president, and its membership includes faculty, staff and student representatives as well as others from specific offices on campus.
Individuals who refuse to comply with this policy and repeat offenders will be addressed through the existing disciplinary policies outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, Faculty Handbook and the Human Resource policies in the University Policy Database.
The transition to a smoke-free campus began in 2010 and proceeded in stages through a campus committee, input from leadership organizations for students, faculty and staff, as well as public hearings, and adoption of a limited policy in 2012. That was followed this year by the expanded policy.