There is buzz in Boulder surrounding the proposed smoking ban on CU campuses.
Regent Michael Carrigan’s proposed tobacco ban has some people wondering what it would actually accomplish.
Many students say they are confused by the purpose of the ban, which would prohibit smoking on all university property, both inside and out. The university described the potential benefits and outcomes of the ban in an e-mail sent to the campus community on Nov. 5.
According to the e-mail, the proposed ban would “promote a healthy lifestyle and workplace among students, faculty and staff (and its attendant benefits relating to employee productivity, insurance costs and sick pay).”
The Campus Press spoke with Carrigan about these outcomes to clarify how the smoking ban could potentially accomplish them.
Carrigan said these benefits would ultimately effect the working environment on campus.
“Studies show that people who don’t take smoking breaks are much more productive in the workplace than those who do,” Carrigan said. “Smokers also tend to take more sick days than non-smokers.”
The e-mail says the ban would “make CU a leader in higher education in our state and nation.”
According to Carrigan, CU would join institutions like the University of North Dakota and Indiana University, two schools with similar bans.
“There is a trend towards smoking bans on campuses across the country,” Carrigan said. “I think that trend will become nationwide in the future, and I want CU to be a leader and not a follower in the area of health sciences.”
Another goal of the ban is “minimize unsightly litter.”
Carrigan said he was not aware of any complaints made about cigarette litter on campus.
“I’ve seen it myself, but I don’t know if there if there is a way for people to make complaints about it to the university,” Carrigan said.
Many students have brought up the concern that there may not be an effective way for the university to enforce such a ban. Carrigan said the administration will consider the aspect of enforcement more as the process moves along.
“It may depend campus by campus,” Carrigan said. “It will obviously include signage, as well as a great deal of peer enforcement. We are also looking at possibly looking at using fines, but it will most likely be up to each chancellor’s discretion if the ban is approved.”
Carrigan said the administration had not yet looked into any costs associated with enforcing the ban.
“The specifics of cost have not been determined because the ban has not been approved yet,” Carrigan said. “That said, there will be obvious savings in terms of maintenance because we won’t have to pay employees to clean up cigarette butts.”
After the campus community is surveyed on the issue, Carrigan said there will be a period of discussion on campus.
“I intend to visit as many governance groups on campus as possible to discuss their opinions,” Carrigan said.
In the spring, open forums will be held for members of the campus community to voice their opinions.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Amanda Walck at email@example.com