UA's revised smoking ban to go into effect August 25 - Tucson News Now

UA's revised smoking ban to go into effect August 25

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The University of Arizona has made some changes to its new tobacco ban policy before it goes into effect August 25, the first day of classes.

Originally the policy banned most tobacco products and e-cigarettes everywhere on campus property, even outdoors. 

The revised policy allows e-cigarettes, for now.

There are questions though about whether the policy will have any teeth, especially when the public is on-campus.

There's no clear indication how it will be enforced.

UA Vice President of Human Resources and Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Allison Vaillancourt says the first semester will be used to educate and raise awareness of the policy.

After that, she says enforcement will be on a case-by-case basis, especially when it comes to general public. 

The tobacco ban includes sports venues such as the football stadium.

There are no designated smoking areas.

Some people who smoke, and who pay to attend sporting events and pay to tailgate are unhappy.

Brian Bouffard is one of them.

Bouffard owns the Oldfather Inn in Marana and says he's a huge UA sports fan and booster.

He says he has missed only four home football games since 1977.

Bouffard says he buys season tickets, pays to tailgate on the UA mall and is a member of the Wildcat Club.

Bouffard says he's fine with a UA policy that tries to make the campus a healthier place, but that the UA should not be making decisions for him and that he should be allowed to do what's legal, and that is to smoke.

"As long as you don't come after me and you look the other way and you don't enforce it and you're just going to let me be to make decisions and I'm not bothering anybody, I'm okay with that. But if you start coming up to me and telling me 'put it out or leave' or try to ticket me because I'm breaking some sort of rule, I'm just not going to come any more because I'm not wanted," Bouffard says.

We brought up, to Vaillancourt, the issue of tailgaters who like their cigars and cigarettes on the UA mall.

Vaillancourt says tailgaters may smoke in their private vehicles if they like.

She says she doesn't expect enforcement to be an issue.

"We've looked at how other campuses have implemented this around the United States, and enforcement has not really been a huge problem and we don't expect it's going to be here either," Vaillancourt says.

The proposed "UA Smoking and Tobacco Policy" was revised after a public comment period.

Vaillancourt says after the first semester, the university will evaluate the policy and could make more changes.

She says that includes taking another look at whether e-cigarettes should be allowed on campus.

To see the UA tobacco policy that does into effect August 25, click here.

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