Aug 2, 2013 6:46 PM by Akeam Ashford
UL and other public universities in Louisiana will go smoke-free in 2014.
A new law passed during the legislative session requires all public colleges to develop a smoke-free policy. The law also bans cigars, pipes, hookah-smoked products, and oral tobacco products.
According to UL Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Joey Pons, the university has already started making plans to comply with the law. "I have formed a working group among stake-holders throughout the university to discuss this," says Pons. "We have met and come up with a tentative plan that we're going to vet through the university council and ultimately have the president sign it."
Jessi Comeaux doesn't smoke herself, but says she has friends who do. Comeaux says this new law puts her in an awkward position. "I think there should be some designated smoking areas. I think it's a little harsh to ban it completely on all areas of campus," says Comeaux.
Pons says the new smoke-free mandate will rely heavily on word of mouth. If a student or faculty member is caught smoking, they could face disciplinary action. "If the student performs the infraction, he or she will be referred to the Dean of Student Life and Conduct. If an employee performs the infraction, they will be referred to their dean, director, or department head over their administrative unit."
The law did go into effect yesterday, but the university isn't forced to comply with the law until fall 2014.