Mesa State smoking-policy options aired

Mesa State College Associated Student Government members presented three potential tobacco policies Thursday evening in a campus lecture hall.

The first option bans all tobacco products, including chewing tobacco, cigars and menthol, clove or regular cigarettes, from campus property. Implementing the option would include a phase-in process with stages for education about the ban, a smoking-cessation program and then enforcement.

A second possibility is a ban of all tobacco products from all but a few designated smoking areas. These areas would have benches and ashtrays for smokers. Designated smoking areas have not been decided, but the option would place smoking areas roughly east of the academic classroom building, west of Houston Hall and in a parking lot north of the new student center.

The final option would entail doing a better job of enforcing the existing policy of keeping smokers at least 30 feet away from all building entrances. Student government leaders would attempt to get more ashtrays for the campus and move ashtrays that are within 30 feet of a building entrance farther away.

Feedback on the three drafts plus a student survey conducted by students of a Mesa State research class will help an Associated Student Government committee recommend one of the three options to ASG President Adam Hendershot, who will either veto the option or send it to the Board of Trustees for policy approval. Results of the survey are expected to be released next week.

Thursday’s meeting lacked the turnout of the forum in September where people were invited to share their feelings about a possible ban of all tobacco products at the school. More than 100 students and faculty attended that meeting.

Just 16 people showed up Thursday. Few asked questions of ASG members, although some asked why faculty would likely be excluded from enforcement, while students could receive tickets for up to $50 if they used tobacco on campus.

“I don’t foresee an issue with that,” Hendershot said, adding professors and staff are unlikely to set a bad example.


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