Administrators at Ball State University in Indiana have imposed a wide-ranging smoking ban on the campus, and will even charge $100 to students who violate the policy.
Thanks to union contracts, however, Ball State employees will get a slight reprieve: their penalty for smoking is $75.
The smoking ban covers not just cigarettes, but also cigars, pipes, hookah, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff and any non-FDA approved nicotine delivery product, according to The College Fix.
Officials stressed that the policy is intended to make students and staff healthier.
“The university is committed to providing a healthy learning and working environment for the entire community, and the new policy is consistent with the university’s wellness initiatives and the tobacco-free health care premium discount,” said Kay Bales, vice president for student affairs, in a statement. “Ball State now is aligned with nearly 1,200 smoke-free and 800 tobacco-free campuses across the nation.”
Ball State’s ban in in stricter than many of those campuses, however, since it has taken the extra step of issuing fines, rather than warnings.
The money generated from the fines will be spent on the university’s anti-smoking campaign.
The ban extends to all indoor and outdoor university property, with one notable exception: football. Smoking will be permitted in tailgating areas during home football games.
Football games are popular events among alumni, and it may have been the case that Ball State was worried that smoke-free sporting events would negatively impact the university’s bottom line.
“Because the only thing that trumps students’ health is college football,” wrote the editors of The College Fix.
The state of Indiana has spent taxpayer dollars for the specific purpose of encouraging more smoke-free areas. Despite budget concerns, the state Department of Health gave Delaware County a $263,955 grant to encourage anti-smoking efforts. These efforts were at least partly successful, since Ball State–which exists within Delaware County–decided to go smoke-free at this time. The grant was renewed last month.
Curbing smoking rates among young people and minorities is the grant’s primary purpose, said Judy Mays, a coordinator for the Health Coalition of Delaware County.
“We know the tobacco companies disproportionately target minority populations when it comes to advertising,” she said in a statement. “We don’t know if minorities are smoking more in Delaware County, but we do know the advertising shows they may, so we plan to work with the health department to keep young people from starting and to help others stop in minority communities.”
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