University of Louisville to begin phasing in campus-wide smoking ban

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WHAS11.com

Posted on September 4, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 5:12 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - Starting in November, the University of Louisville is phasing in a campus-wide smoking ban.

This means students, faculty and staff will have to leave campus for that quick smoke break.

The university says it's a health issue, but others say, it's their choice to smoke.

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If you work or live at U of L, enjoy your puffing freedom now because soon, taking a drag anywhere on campus, will be a drag. U of L's slowly implementing a campus-wide smoking ban.

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"It will be eliminated completely except in the designated smoking areas Nov. 19th. On June 1st we'll also be phasing out the designated smoking areas so there will be no smoking on this campus by then," says U of L Provost Shirley Willihnganz.

?"Smoking bans at U of L had started at the Health and Sciences campus about a year ago, and that's when most of the major hospitals downtown went smoke free both inside and outside of their buildings. So our health science campus followed suit. What we're doing now is getting a consistent university policy so there won't be smoking anywhere on any of our campuses," she says.

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Shirley Willihnganz says U of L's looking out for everyone health, including both smokers and non-smokers.

Smoking's already prohibited in buildings and around them. But this new school policy has created quite the stir on campus.

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"I think it's a good idea. Restaurants have gone smoke free, pretty much everywhere else has gone smoke free, I mean it's only harmful to everyone else, so," says Junior Ashley Fielder, a non-smoker who's in favor of ban.

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"I feel it's a good thing. Walking around the University I get pretty tired of walking through smoke clouds, ya know?" says Freshman Doug Young, a non-smoker who's in favor of ban.

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"I think that's kind of bogus, especially outside. I actually haven't heard of a lot of people being bothered by it," says Sophomore Richard Goff, a smoker who's against the ban. "I plan on quitting anyway I guess it does help technically, but it kind of sucks."

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"I think it sucks," says a U of L employee Sheree Smith, a smoker, who's against ban.

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"I think it should have happened a long time ago," says Ashley Cosby, a non-smoker who's in favor of the ban.

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There's a seven month lapse before students, faculty and staff will have to leave campus to smoke. U of L's taking things slowly because they want to give people time and options to help kick the habit.

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"Our student health education group is already working on the behavioral and support things to help people stop. They'll be working on things to coach people who don't smoke to say to others, to let them know that they shouldn't be smoking here. We'll be having patches and gum and pills and all the things people use to break the addiction and wean off the cigarette addiction. So we'll be putting in as much support as we can," says Willihnganz.

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Those who don't comply with the policy will be punished according to the University's codes of conduct. And for those who feel?like the University's stepping on their right to smoke.

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"The University is public space, but it's also a place where we can set certain policies," she says. "We are not telling anybody they can't smoke. People can smoke; we're just telling them you can't smoke here."

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Those designated smoking areas that will take effect November 19th haven't been identified yet. That same day UK will implement a smoking ban.

November 19th is the day the American Cancer Society encourages everyone to stop smoking.

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