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Wayne State Could Soon Become Smoke-Free Campus

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(credit: istock)

(credit: istock)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - Cigarettes might soon be a thing of the past at the Detroit campus of Wayne State University.

A presidential task force is exploring the possibilities of turning Wayne State into a fully smoke-free campus. The 11-member group, made up of students, faculty and staff, started doing research in March, talking with students, observing behavior patterns and reviewing best practices from other smoke-free universities.

Wayne State’s current smoking policy prohibits smoking in any university building and within 25 feet of any entrance or exit. However, concerns have been raised that the current policy is not being followed.

Julie Miller, secretary to the Board of Governors and chair of the task force, said several students have complained about having to walk through smoke when entering and exiting campus buildings. Some of those students, like Dana Gingrich, would be happy to see that cloud of smoke clear.

“It’s a public health risk. You can smoke in your own home and your car, but other people shouldn’t have to endure that,” she said. “I come from a family of smokers and have friends who smoke, but it’s just not fun to be around.”

Joe Batacaletti also likes the thought of snuffing out smoking on campus

“I think it’s a great idea. The campus itself has been smoke free, that is they stopped selling cigarettes I believe about 10 years ago,” he said. “It’s just good leadership. We know smoking is bad for you.”

But other students, like Ryan Price, aren’t yet sold on a campus smoking ban.

“I don’t know, I think a better start would be enforcing the rules that they’ve got,” he said.

Adi Sayed, who smokes, agreed, saying total prohibition is not the answer.

“I would hate this,” he said. “I mean maybe you can have a smoking section where people can smoke out on the street.”

The task force plans to wrap up their investigation and make a recommendation to the school’s president by June 15.

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