By DANIEL KLAPHEKE
daniel_klapheke@mymail.eku.edu

Penalties for getting caught smoking will now carry a little more weight to them.

Students caught using tobacco the first time will receive a written reprimand and may be placed on university probation for one semester. They must complete a tobacco educational program and write a paper concerning tobacco use.

The second offense puts the violator on a one-semester university probation. Students must complete two hours of university service and write another paper on tobacco use. In addition to another written reprimand, violators must pay a $100 fee.

The third offense is met with a year of university probation, as well as an additional four hours of university service. The administrative fee is increased to $200, with a written reprimand and a third paper on tobacco use.

Subsequent offenses bring a year of university probation and eight hours of university service. The administrative assessment goes up to $400, additional written reprimands, more educational papers on tobacco use and a warning of suspension or expulsion.

The university wants to help students stop smoking and not just pass out penalties, said Jack Rutherford, co-chair of Eastern’s Colonels Kick Butt tobacco-free task force.

“We aren’t just telling people to stop smoking immediately,” Rutherford said. “It’s a process to quit, and we have services to help with that.”

The task force’s website, tobaccofree.eku.edu, has links to websites and hotlines that help students with the process of quitting.