Auburn University Goes Smoke-Free, Policy Stands on Game Day


By Ashley Thompson

Beginning August 21st, Auburn University will be a smoke-free campus, meaning smoking will be banned on all property owned or leased by the university.

But now some are worried about what that could mean for game day at the school.

Students at Auburn University are talking about the new smoking ban which will go into affect this upcoming school year.

"I think it makes it safer for the environment," says student Lindsey Hamilton. "It helps the air stay fresher."

"I don't smoke personally myself but other people smoking doesn't really bother me," says student Andrew George.

Starting August 21st, the first day of the fall semester smoking will be completely banned on any Auburn owned property. But there are some exceptions.

"In your own personal vehicles, even if they're parked on campus," says Director of Health Promotion and Wellness Services Eric Smith. "Be it in a parking lot or parking garage as long as the windows are rolled up."

Smith says the policy will apply even on game days.

"That said, inside the stadium is where things are really controlled and it's my understanding that athletics will be phasing the policy in over time."

Apartments, restaurants, retail shops and other businesses all sit on property owned by Auburn. And some say the new smoking ban could end up hurting the university.

"If you do smoke and you pay for where you live, I don't see how you can be told that you can't smoke where you live," says fan Leslie Johnston. "It's supposed to be your home."

"I know smoking is bad for people and second hand smoke is a concern but if you're outdoors in a public place, I think it's a bit draconian," says alumnus Robert Woodlock.

There will be no fines or tickets given to those smoking on campus, instead university officials are relying solely on voluntary compliance and says a major change like this will take some time.

"My real hope is no one rushes to judge the policy as a success or a failure based on the first couple weeks," Smith says.

Other schools in Alabama have also adopted the smoking ban. Troy University went both smoke free and tobacco free last year.


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