LTU expands no-smoking policy

Cigarettes, vaping not allowed on campus

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published January 24, 2018

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SOUTHFIELD — Officials at Lawrence Technological University just made it a little easier for students, faculty and staff to stick to a common New Year’s resolution by expanding the no-smoking policy on campus. 

With the start of the university’s spring semester earlier this month, the university, located at 21000 W. 10 Mile Road, adopted a new smoke-free policy. 

According to a news release, the policy comes in response to requests by the faculty and student groups. 

The new policy mandates that no smoking whatsoever is permitted on campus, with the exception of inside privately owned vehicles. Smoking is permitted in Enterprise Center and Circle Drive homes, officials said, which are rental properties located in the northeast section of campus. 

The policy also applies to vaping, officials said. 

Previously, the university’s smoking policy required that smokers not be within 25 feet of a building, according to Linda Height, vice president of finance and administration at the university. 

The new policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors and visitors, officials said.

Smoking is prohibited in all university-owned or operated campuses, grounds and vehicles, including the Detroit Center for Design and Technology in Detroit, as well as the athletic field on 10 Mile. 

“Last year, as we do every year, we held a wellness fair for employees, and (the smoking policy) came up then. There were some conversations about smoking and health-related issues,” Height said. “The policy comes from student government groups, faculty senate and staff senate — it trickled up from all three of those areas as an item they were interested in.”

Dean of Students Kevin Finn said that although the policy has just been adopted, student government groups have been discussing the ban for several years. 

“I said, ‘Hey, do some homework, because most colleges have smoking bans in place because they’re public colleges,’” Finn said. “They did some homework on it and surveyed faculty and staff. It was really nice to see that it was something they were taking the lead on.”

Height said the surveys helped identify key groups’ opinions on the smoking policy. 

“It turned out that it was perfectly normal for us to say it was a nonsmoking campus,” she said. 

Height said she is hopeful that the new policy will inspire students, faculty and staff to kick the habit once and for all. 

“I think it’s an incentive to go ahead and actually quit smoking,” she said.

Both Finn and Height said they have not received word of any backlash against the policy. 

“(The university) isn’t trying to single smokers out and put them on the spot, but we’ve found people just don’t like it happening in the entryways,” Finn said. “I’m seeing that this generation is much more health-conscious with food choices, smoking and exercise — more than I’ve seen during my 17 years at this university.”

“Of course it’s early in the process, but what I’ve heard more of is people saying, ‘This is going to give me more of an impetus to quit smoking, or at least quit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Height said.