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UCA kicks smoking

Posted: June 11, 2010 - 7:17pm
Greg Antley, senior at the University of Central Arkansas, takes a smoke break outside McCastlain Hall on Friday afternoon. After July 1, all tobacco product use will be prohibited on the campus. COURTNEY SPRADLIN PHOTO
Greg Antley, senior at the University of Central Arkansas, takes a smoke break outside McCastlain Hall on Friday afternoon. After July 1, all tobacco product use will be prohibited on the campus. COURTNEY SPRADLIN PHOTO

Smoking tobacco products on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas will be against state law for students, staff, visitors and faculty, effective July 1.

That is one month ahead of the required date of Act 734 of the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas, which is Aug. 1.

The Arkansas Clean Air on Campus Act of 2009, the bill states, is an act to protect students, employees, and visitors at state-supported institutions of higher education from secondhand smoke on campus.

Jack Gillean, chief of staff at the university said at a November 2009 meeting of the Board of Trustees, a resolution was approved to enact the law one month earlier, to begin the first day of the fiscal year.

“The state law requires us to be in this position no later than Aug. 1,” he said. “We chose to make ours July 1 because state deadline was no later than that, and it’s a good transition for us into the fiscal year. Aug. 1 is an arbitrary date and students will not be on campus until the middle of August.”

Those not complying with the July 1 date adopted by the university will be subject to a fine.

The Act states, “Any person who violates any provision of this subchapter is guilty of a violation and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 and no more than $500.”

Gillean said the university went a step further with the tobacco ban and included smokeless tobacco as well.

“What’s unique about our policy — state law didn’t require it but consistent with our previous policy — in addition to preventing smoking on campus, it also prevents the use of smokeless tobacco,” Gillean said.

The use of smokeless tobacco was previously not allowed in school buildings, stadiums or university vehicles.

“We have prohibited the use of it campus-wide, in addition to the smoking ban on July 1,” Gillean said.

Gillean said there is no criminal penalty for the use of smokeless tobacco on university property, and those in violation will be informed of university policy, and will “hopefully comply.”

The ban includes all campus property, as well as property on campus grounds, such as personal vehicles.

“We anticipate that will be a difficult enforcement issue, but technically it is on campus property. The way the law reads is that smoking is prohibited completely. Technically, they’d have to leave the property to smoke. That includes sitting in parking lots in their own cars,” Gillean said. “I acknowledge that enforcement is a touchy and difficult one.”

Lt. Rhonda Swindle of the UCA Police Department said the department plans to use an “educational method” to help transition students, faculty and staff into the new law. Swindle said the department will issue warnings, keep a record of those warnings, and then will issue citations to repeat offenders.

“We’re going to try to be lenient in the beginning, and educational. Everyone’s been told but we’ll have to remind them in an educational type of format,” Swindle said.

Gillean said an effort has been made by the university to ready faculty, staff and students over the last several months by way of smoking cessation classes.

“We’ll continue those into the fall as well,” Gillean said. “I’m told those classes were not well attended but we’ve been advertising that this change would occur. And we will offer the classes when the fall term begins in hopes those who have not gone, will, and will be successful in kicking the habit, if you will.”

The University of Arkansas updated its policy to ban smoking within 25 feet of public building entrances, to ban tobacco use campus-wide in July of 2008, according to the U of A website. The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton also prohibits smoking on campus.

Arkansas State-Beebe is a tobacco-free campus, with a policy banning the use of smokeless tobacco as well.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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ucastudent01
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ucastudent01 06/11/10 - 09:53 pm
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This is ridiculous. UCA costs

This is ridiculous. UCA costs more than any other university in the state and if I want to smoke in my own vehicle on campus, I should be allowed. I guess fining people for smoking in their cars will help pay for some of the excessive spending the university partakes in each year. I guess we really need a touch screen floor-plan of the new business building because educated students can't find their way around a building, an addition to the walking trail, and of course we a fountain that runs all the time. However, I get told to bring a ream of paper to class on the first day of the semester because my professor's budget got cut to zero and she can't run copies for exams, quizzes or articles pertaining to our class she finds in the media. I want to collect all the cigarette butts on campus and dump them on President’s front lawn.

Igor Rabinowitz
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Igor Rabinowitz 06/11/10 - 10:38 pm
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bullfrog
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bullfrog 06/11/10 - 11:24 pm
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@ucastudent01
Unpublished

Please do collect all the cigarette butts on campus and dump them in one spot where they can be disposed of properly. If cig puffers wouldn't litter maybe everyone else would be more tolerant of their nasty habit. I've never seen any group of people think it was okay to throw their trash on the ground except cig puffers. I wish I had a nickel for every butt I've seen flicked out of a car window by a cig puffer. I don't care that you want to set something on fire and then suck it into your lungs. Just don't litter.

chuck berry
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chuck berry 06/12/10 - 03:43 am
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these students are smart

these students are smart enough to find the loopholes in this joke of a law.Racism aimed at a minority group

qaz668 06/12/10 - 04:16 am
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How to keep on smoking on campus

Electronic cigarettes are legal to use in no smoking areas because they produce no smoke - only a water-based vapor that does not leave a smell in clothes or hair like tobacco smoke. They cannot cause a fire when using them - nothing burns - so they are safer. They leave no tar in the lungs.

My mother has not touched a regular cigarette since trying the electronic cigarette I bought her from http://www.CleanGreenNicotine.com/
- (use coupon code disc10-15186 for 10% off).

She reports no urge to smoke even when with friends that are smoking. She also says she breathes easier and she has more stamina.

The cost to buy the kit is quickly recouped because the refill cartridges are about 1/2 the cost of regular cigarettes. Also, there is a 30-day money back guarantee.

I am very glad she tried this, She has said her electronic cigarette has been, “a godsend.”

ARBEAR
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ARBEAR 06/13/10 - 11:50 am
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Smokers Die Younger

UCA student01...UA not UCA is the most expensive campus in the state.

Igor...that hipster is going to finish his fag and put it out on Mrs. Meadors brand spanking new $300,000 stamped brickwork. If every smoker did that then UCA would have to spend even more than the $100k that it already will cost to reseal the pretty campus brickwork each year...after year...after year.

chuck berry... If these students are smart they will quit. If they just cut down 2 packs a day they could pay their tuition at AR Tech. Problem solved. Oh... by the way, of course this is all about race.

qaz668...how do you spell scam?

ARBEAR
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ARBEAR 06/13/10 - 12:15 pm
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Gum Chewers are Next

Discarded gum spew and brick sidewalks don't make Pretty together.

BearFan4
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BearFan4 06/13/10 - 12:28 pm
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@ARBEAR

I know it's splitting hairs, but officially UCA now has the highest tuition in the state. The only reason UA is more expensive is due to housing, so if you don't live on campus then UA is cheaper.

ARBEAR
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ARBEAR 06/13/10 - 03:07 pm
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Wait...shhh...do I hear hairs splitting...

Hendrix.............. $29,754
Henderson........... $8406
Ouachita ...........$33,350
UA .................... $12,330
UALR ...................$8612
UAPB................ $10,394
UCA ..................$10,332
Arkansas State..$10,150
U of the Ozarks. $20,212
Remington.........$12,825
Philander Smith.$15215
Harding.............$17,092
CBC..................$13,200

Hey Bearfan4...It looks like Henderson is your best value when cheap tuition rather than pretty sidewalks is your priority.

BearFan4
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BearFan4 06/13/10 - 03:34 pm
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I'm sorry I wasn't clear

I'm sorry I wasn't clear enough, highest tuition for public education. And like I said, it was for tuition only, not housing or books or anything like that.

"U of A tuition will, after the fall semester, cost $141 less than UCA’s."

http://thecabin.net/news/local/2010-04-28/meadors-proposes-uca-tuition-i...

Again, splitting hairs.

Anyway, I would rather not get a cheap education just to save a few bucks now. I got my Bachelor and Master degree from UCA and I am proud of my alma mater. I was in one of the best programs in the state which got me and nearly all of my classmates a job before we graduated. And if $8,000 over four years is the difference between me getting a full time job with benefits instead of working at Wal-Mart and living with my parents, I'm willing to pay extra.

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