AU bans all cigarette sales

The Eagle's Nest, AU's convenience store located in Butler Pavilion, will no longer be selling cigarettes after their current stock sells out.

The decision to move to stop selling tobacco on campus is an attempt to make AU a healthier community, and falls under the last point of AU President Benjamin Ladner's 15 Point Plan, which outlines Ladner's vision for the future of AU and was set two years ago.

"It just doesn't seem to fit with our mission, to be selling tobacco products," Julie Weber said, executive director of Housing and Dining Programs.

The decision to stop selling cigarettes took over eight months to make, and the discussion focused on the financial ramifications for Bon Appetit, Weber said. Students were involved, including the initial decision to move smoke-free in the residence halls over a three-year period, she said.

This year is the first year that smoking will be prohibited within the dorms entirely, completing the "Smoke Free in 2003" campaign.

Bon Appetit is currently working on marketing current products and researching new ones in an attempt to make up for the loss in revenue, Yvonne Matteson said, Bon Appetit's director of operations at AU. While replacing cigarettes with other items is hard because it doesn't free up any visible space, the Eagle's Nest will be moving some merchandise to the front of the store in an attempt to increase its visibility.

They are not expecting too lose any customers, Matteson said.

AU is the last university that Bon Appetit operates a convenience store at that sells tobacco, Matteson said.

"Most campuses don't allow it anymore," Matteson said. "Every where you go, it's nonsmoking."

And while students will have to go off campus to buy cigarettes, most are not surprised by the decision.

"Smoking is not necessarily good for you," smoker Behrad Besharatian said, a senior in SIS, who is in favor of more restrictive smoking laws, like the one in New York City that bans smoking in bars and clubs. "I want more restrictions because it will encourage me to quit."

Others are surprised that the University hasn't advertised the decision to stop selling tobacco on campus, besides a note in Today@AU e-mails and an 8-by-11-inch sign on the Eagle's Nest's door.

"I'm surprised, I've been here [this summer] and didn't know about it," smoker Martha Roberts said, a senior in CAS, who expects that many students will be upset when they return to campus in the fall. "I buy my cigarettes there every day"

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