Tobacco-free campus proposal presented

Eastern Michigan University’s Student Affairs Committee met in Welch Hall on Tuesday as part of a series of end of the semester committee meetings.

During the student affairs meeting, EMU students Rebecca Frank and Katelyn Coberley presented a tobacco-free campus proposal.

Frank said the outcome of an online EMU poll from Nov. 8 showed 69.3 percent of those polled voted in favor of a tobacco-free campus, while only 30.6 percent voted against.

Frank and Coberley’s presentation also highlighted the risks for nonsmokers such as air pollutants and other cardiovascular effects related to secondhand smoke inhalation.

The proposal included initiatives, such as programs dedicated to advising student smokers to quit, bystander training and work with the Wellness Center.

If the proposal passes, by the summer of 2014, EMU smokers would be designated to smoke within the perimeter of campus only. Students would already be made aware of the changes and programs. By fall of 2014, EMU would be tobacco-free and the cessation programs would continue.

Frank said the policy would not take away smokers’ rights. They are not legally protected under the Equal Protection Clause. She added there would not be a penalty for anyone caught smoking on campus, and the policy is to promote wellness and a healthier environment.

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