Beginning Monday, June 2nd, Eastern Kentucky University becomes tobacco-free system wide. EKU’s main campus in Richmond and extended sites in Corbin, Danville, and Manchester will go smoke, chewing and snuff-free next week.
Tobacco Free Task Force Co-Chair Jack Rutherford says the current policy prohibits smoking within 25 feet of any window or entrance. He says signs are going up around the perimeter of campus to signal a completely tobacco free status.
"Students, faculty, and staff will not be allowed to use tobacco products. That includes electronic cigarettes, chewing tobacco, all of that on the campus," said Rutherford.
Rutherford says tobacco-free ambassadors will walk the campuses in search of violators. He says education about the new policy will be the first step followed by the possibility of student or employee disciplinary measures.
Jack Rutherford , who co-chaired the Tobacco Free Task Force, says the current "25-feet" policy has not worked well.
"Signs will be removed and tobacco product receptacles will be removed. Clearly the message will be when you are on campus, you're not allowed to smoke or use tobacco products,” added Rutherford.
Rutherford says EKU has a big investment in student, faculty, and staff. In addition to their work, Rutherford says the investment covers health and well-being.
"We think most students want a healthy campus environment and will embrace that. There will be a small segment that will not want that policy in effect, but it is what it is, and we're looking out for the health of our students. We think this is a positive move forward for the campus," explained Rutherford.
Rutherford says Eastern employees currently living in EKU housing are exempt from the tobacco-free policy. He says new tenants will be required to abide by the policy.