Campus smoking ban passed

The Truman State Board of Governors passed a campus-wide smoking ban which will go into effect during July 2015.
The ban includes tobacco, smoking products and electronic cigarettes, said sophomore Matt Cooper, Student Senate President.
Cooper said the Academic Affairs and Student Affairs committee worked on the ordinance before it was presented to the Board.
Senior Michael Bushur said health-science professor Carolyn Cox pushed for a smoke-free campus. Bushur said Cox presented medical issues associated with first and second-hand smoke, emphasizing the impact of smoking on the student body.
Bushur said designated smoking sections will not be available, but might be reconsidered during the future.
According to the initiative, the University could establish a designated smoking area inside a building, but the area would have to be ventilated, which would cost the University about $10,000.
Bushur said the change will not  become effective until July 2015 so smokers have time to quit. Bashur said smoking cessation programs will be started and anti-smoking resources will be made available to encourage current smokers to quit.
“The Board considered the rights and well-being of everyone in the Truman community,” Bushur said. “We felt that this policy change best promotes health for Truman.”
Freshman student senator Taylor Lang said he thinks the ban might upset some people, but plenty of others will be happy or indifferent because they don’t smoke. Lang said the bill is for the greater good of the student body.
“We wanted to conduct more surveys to better hear the voice of the students because that is the real reason why we do what we do,” Lang said.
University President Troy Paino said he was involved with the deliberative process of the policy change. He said the policy change came about three years after the board restricted smoking 25 feet from all buildings. Paino said this restriction moved Truman a step closer to the smoking and tobacco ban policy.
Paino said electronic cigarettes are included in the ban because research shows they are not a healthy alternative for smoking cessation and the federal government classifies them as tobacco products.

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