By TOPHER PAYTON
Eastern officials are moving forward with several new initiatives regarding the tobacco ban that will be put into effect this June.
Renee Fox, co-chair of the presidential task force investigating the tobacco ban, said the policy is trying to put into place a completely 100 percent tobacco free campus. This includes banning e-cigarettes on campus, as well as not allowing smoking in cars that are on campus.
Fox said there is a lot of miscommunication about e-cigarettes. She said they are not an FDA approved method of cessation for regular smoking, and that there are still a lot of harmful chemicals dispersed through e-cigarettes.
Fox really wants to add more education on campus on why e-cigarettes are still dangerous, so that people will understand there was a purpose behind it.
“The policy will view e-smokers just the same as regular smokers on campus,” Fox said.
They are planning on enforcing this policy by using an ambassador policy they have adopted from the University of Kentucky.
The UK ambassador program is called Tobacco-free Take Action!, a group of student and faculty volunteers who are committed to improving compliance with their tobacco free policy, they handle reminding people about the policy and reporting violations, according to UK’s tobacco free policy website.
Fox said Eastern would be using much of their ambassador policy. They are working on most of the logistics, but Fox said the ambassadors would be mostly faculty with some part-time students working with them.
Another big change the policy is trying to implement is finding creative ways to use the smoke shacks without spending the money to remove the entire structure.
“We’ll actually be moving those [glass frames] when the policy comes into place,” Fox said. “And then we’ll be doing exciting things with those areas. So there’s a concrete base underneath it and we’re going to be partnering with the art department and using some of those bases to build big art sculptures on.”
Other plans the task force has for the smoke shacks are to use some as bus stops for students and to turn the other ones into green houses. Fox said they are trying to find creative ways to use these spaces to help with the campus beautification process.
Currently they are working on finalizing the draft for it to be approved by the Board of Regents at this month’s meeting.