- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 13, 2016

KENAI, Alaska (AP) - Staff and students at the Kenai Peninsula College have started the spring semester with the campus’ new tobacco ban now in effect.

The policy has been implemented for the entire University of Alaska system since Dec. 31. The use of tobacco or substitutes, vape pens and e-cigarettes is prohibited on all university property. The policy also includes a $50 fine for littering tobacco-related materials, The Peninsula Clarion reported (https://bit.ly/1OOFHzR).

“The policy relies heavily on the consideration and cooperation of both users and non-users of tobacco, and the willingness of all members of the university community to share the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing the prohibition, and of holding themselves and each other accountable,” said Suzie Kendrick, advancement programs manager.

Anyone who sees a violation is encouraged to advise the user of the new rule, direct them to an appropriate supervisor or inform them of the option to consult with the Student Health Clinic, Kendrick said.

“Tobacco use is highly addictive and it is not easy to quit,” she said. “For those who might not have been aware of the policy change, it might be particularly difficult.”

The UA Board of Regents approved the change in December 2014 in an effort to create a healthier environment for smokers and non-smokers. They also sought to encourage those who do smoke to quit.

Students and staff are allowed to smoke inside their vehicles in the parking lot. Smoking is also allowed on public right-of-ways and sidewalks, but neither are near KPC’s Kenai River Campus, Kendrick said.

“I believe the transition to the new policy will be difficult particularly since (the Kenai River Campus) does not have a nearby public sidewalk and we’re surrounded by 309 acres (of forest),” said KPC Director Gary Turner in a previous Clarion interview. “On the positive side, it is hoped this will lead more tobacco users to attempt to quit.”


Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, https://www.peninsulaclarion.com

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