Tobacco ban revisited


Cayla Brown | News Editor
January 28, 2015; 12:25 p.m.

UMSL and WashU are both tobacco-free campuses, Maryville is smokeless. Lindenwood may be next.

What has been a cultural norm for decades may be banned in the near future on Lindenwood’s campus. A subcommittee of the Faculty Council has been working on the proposal for two years and have submitted it for approval once before.

Though the proposed ban failed at first, the Tobacco-free subcommittee members have improved the ban and resubmitted it. The proposal has passed both the Faculty Council and Staff Council and is waiting for approval by the Board of Directors.

Joseph Lovell has been one of the five members of the subcommittee to work on the ban proposal. He hopes the ban, once passed, will be in place on the National Smoke Out Day in November of 2016.

“We don’t want to shock,” said Lovell. He went saying there is a plan to have signage, education, and sensation programs before the ban takes effect.

Lovell hopes the ban will incite a cultural shift in the views of tobacco use. Though tickets can be written for those using the drug, his concern is not the hunting down and punishment, but rather the education of the full student, both body and mind.

The research collected over two years includes a survey of over 1500 students in addition to staff and faculty. There was about a 70% positive response in favor of the ban, according to Lovell.

Director of Housing Michelle Giessman has encountered many complaints from students in her 18 years at LU. “I have problems assigning housing if one roommate discovers the other smokes.  Even if they cannot smoke in the halls, the roommate complains that their clothes smell like smoke.  In nice weather, when we have the windows open, students complain the smoking area’s smoke comes into their rooms.”

She is a supporter of the ban. “As a former smoker, I think it is a good idea.  I hate having to walk past overflowing butt cans, smelling like smoke when I try to enter Spellmann through the front doors.”

Faculty Council President and Public Health Nurse Deb Kiel has been involved with the ban proposal for a year and believes it is time for Lindenwood to be tobacco free.

“It was great to receive the support from students. That was critical and we are proud of the solidarity. The campus exists for the students,” said Kiel.

The proposal is waiting for approval from the Board of Directors.