LSU set to become a smoke-free campus

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Tailgaters won't be allowed to light up outside of Tiger Stadium or anywhere else on campus in the Fall.

LSU is going tobacco free. The university is adopting a new policy which restricts smoking and chewing tobacco. But some smokers and non-smokers said they are not so sure the new rules will stick.

It is not uncommon to walk around campus and see people smoking outside. It is prohibited inside buildings and Tiger Stadium, but university leaders are taking it another step by banning tobacco use anywhere on campus.

The co-chair of the Smoke Free Campus Committee, Patrick Martin, said LSU is passing the policy for several reasons.

"As we looked into this we realized smoking is unpleasant for people who have to breathe in the secondhand smoke. Tobacco chewing creates an unsightly mess on campus and there is a lot of trash generated by smokers," Martin said.

Student and non-smoker Alisha Coates welcomes the change.

"I think it will increase the health of the students on campus who don't smoke," Coates said.

But some students, who are also non-smokers, said a tobacco-free campus is a bit far-fetched.

"I haven't really had much problem with smoking on campus to be honest. It seems a bit of an over-reaction to me," Ryan Manuel said.

"I personally don't like cigarettes. I'm slightly asthmatic but if people can keep it to themselves, I don't see why they can't have it on campus," Payton Rhymes said.

The Louisiana Legislature passed a law in 2013 that requires colleges and universities to create their own "smoke-free" policies.

At LSU, that will also include electronic cigarettes.

This Fall the smoking posts and ashtrays will be replaced with trash cans and signs outlining the new policy.

Smoker Brady Mitchell said he doesn't plan to leave campus between classes to smoke a cigarette.

"It would mean a great inconvenience. It's just a stupid, restrictive, pointless rule," Mitchell said.

Martin said campus police will not have the authority to write tickets for smoking. For now, he said it is more of a recommendation. But university leaders said they hope to create a culture that will eventually catch on.

The tobacco-free policy will go into effect on Aug. 1.

Southern University adopted a similar policy in 2012.

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