Students Excited, Going Tobacco Free at U of E

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The University of Evansville is kicking the habit starting this fall. UE will enact a campus-wide tobacco-free policy beginning in August.

It includes smoked, smokeless and electronic cigarettes on all campus grounds, including parking areas, campus events, and athletic facilities.

It's a move University leaders say will make a difference in the lives of the campus community. One many students seem excited for, but hesitant to believe will work right away.

“It's great. I think it's gonna be great for U of E and for the campus,” says Jacob Sellers.

College comes with many routines, like class, homework, and tests. But UE is now retiring another routine.

“It shows the fact the University of Evansville cares about a healthy campus life,” says Elizabeth Daugherty, “They care about the health and well-being of their students.”

The ban won't go into effect for another three months, but take a trip to campus and you might think it's already banned.

Eyewitness News spent two hours on campus and couldn't find a single smoker – only the traces they leave behind. Cigarette butts crumbled in ashtrays and smashed on the ground.

“It's a great step towards us as a student body being healthier and having a healthier campus,” adds Davis Brinker.

Officials from UE says less than 20 percent of its students use tobacco. They anticipate a smooth shift come August when the ban becomes official.

Michael Tessier, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, says resources will be available to those trying to quit, including a free nicotine patch and program through the Vanderburgh County Health Department.

“We have resources for smoking cessation, being able to be in some type of support group so they can get through this.”

Daugherty says it's the first step in helping people quit. “”We're not just throwing them under the bus,” she says.

Baxter Pitt says the change won't come easy. “It's going to be a difficult transition, because I think people are going to look for ways to get around it.”

“I think you should have the right to smoke if you like to,” adds Sellers, “but do it in a place that's not putting others in danger.”


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