A guide to AU's new smoke-and tobacco-free policy

A guide to AU's new smoke-and tobacco-free policy

AU officially became a smoke-and tobacco-free campus today. Students are permitted to smoke in three areas on the outskirts of AU to help current smokers adjust to the new policy.

The ban prohibits the use of all tobacco products and medical marijuana on University property, according to the University's website.

The three designated smoking areas will exist only for the Fall 2013 semester. These areas will become tobacco-free on Dec. 23, according to a memo sent to the AU community. The areas are:

• Kogod Ellipse • Roper/SIS Walkway • The green space next to the tennis courts behind the Sports Annex Complex

AU administrators will also form a "Tobacco-Free Ambassadors" team of students, faculty and staff to help implement the policy, according to the website.

Consequences for violating the policy

If an ambassador catches a member of the AU community violating the new policy, the ambassador will remind the person of the the tobacco-free policy and request they move to a proper location, according to the website.

If caught a second time, the ambassador will remind the individual of the policy again and refer him or her to smoking cessation resources.

A third time will result in the referral to a disciplinary process in the Student Code of Conduct, Staff Progressive Discipline or Faculty Manual.

AU addresses arguments against policy

The University addressed arguments against the policy on a special page of the AU website.

AU's policy does not take away the right to choose to use tobacco, but instead limits where a person can smoke, according to their website.

"Using tobacco is a personal choice, not a constitutional right," according to the page.

Tobacco as a choice means that while smokers are a minority, they are not protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution., and smoking is not protected under the Due Process Clause.

"Suggesting individuals who make a choice to smoke are an oppressed minority group is not only an uninformed argument, but it can be offensive to truly pressed, underrepresented and underserved groups," according to the page.

However, AU cited environmental concerns and student health as reasons to become a smoke-and tobacco-free campus.

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