University of Delaware

A University of Delaware student-led initiative to ban smoking and the use of tobacco, including electronic cigarettes, on all UD property is set to go into effect Aug. 1.

The President’s Executive Committee unanimously approved this policy May 19.

UD’s Student Government Association proposed the idea after surveys showed 72 percent of students support a tobacco-free campus, according to Jessica Borcky, who was SGA’s president this past year.

“It came to SGA as a student concern, and this is in regard to the dangers associated with the use of tobacco products and exposure to secondhand smoke,” Borcky said earlier this year.

The ban builds upon a 1995 policy that prohibits smoking inside university-owned buildings and extends that prohibition to outdoor locations on campus.

Borcky said the policy would reduce pollution, lower maintenance fees and create a safer environment.

The ban falls in line with similar policies at other universities.

“There is a trend across the country in favor of tobacco-free campuses,” Tom LaPenta, UD’s chief human resources officer, said.

LaPenta said this effort dates back to 2012 when students began lobbying for the ban.

“The students live here and spend most of their time here,” LaPenta said. “We have to respect that.”

LaPenta said students, staff and visitors will be notified of the ban through signage and online materials. LaPenta said that, considering people have generally respected the indoor smoking ban, he does not expect any problems with the new policy.

“University students, staff, and prospective guests will be informed and reminded of the policy,” LaPenta said.

Lapenta said cooperation will come through educational programs about smoking that officials will offer to students. Smoking cessation programs will be available for students, faculty, and staff.

LePenta stressed the effectiveness of the ban is a shared responsibility between all members of the UD community.

“Successful implementation depends on cooperation,” he said.

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