UTHSC banning all smoking on campus

UTHSC banning all smoking on campus
Published: Dec. 6, 2017 at 2:09 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2017 at 4:49 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - New Year's Day kicks off the year-round tobacco ban on University of Tennessee Health Science Center campus.

It's an idea that students pushed to have the university put into action.

The days are numbered for students, faculty, and staff to enjoy a smoke or vape as they walk through campus.

Come Jan. 1, 2018, the 55-acre campus will be tobacco-free.

"Second-hand smoke is a very, very real concern so we think our environment is better served with the new implementation of the policy," said Dr. Kennard Brown.

It's a policy in place at many colleges and universities across the state.

Brown, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operations Officer at UTHSC, admits he would have liked to see this change happen sooner but is ready to see the shift on campus.

"I think that's pretty standard right now," said second-year physical therapy student David Spellings. "At my undergrad, they did the same thing."

The new tobacco ban will be enforced on all university property including sidewalks and parking lots near UT Health Science buildings. Smoking or using tobacco in your car on campus will also be prohibited.

"Eventually we hope that, just like bad habits, that this good habit kind of takes on a life of its own and leads to a reduction in smoking," Spellings said.

Those who still chose to light up on the campus will be given a warning by the university, but repeat offenders could lose their job.

There will be one exception to this new tobacco ban. It will be allowed on campus only for research purposes.

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