Southeastern implements new campus smoking restrictions
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – New smoking restrictions on the Southeastern Louisiana University campus are being implemented this semester in an attempt to “clear the air” near entrances to academic buildings.
Timed to coincide with the Louisiana Smoke-Free Air Act that went into effect Jan. 1, the policy expands university efforts initiated in 2003 that allowed smoking only in designated areas around certain buildings.
John Crain, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said highly visible signage is being installed near certain buildings informing smokers of the policy, which is intended to keep the primary entrances to the buildings smoke-free and to lessen the associated litter problems. He added that the university will be vigilant about enforcing the policy.
Designated smoking areas have been created near several buildings, including D Vickers Hall, Garrett Hall, Fayard Hall and Sims Memorial Library. In addition, smoking will be banned at the entrances to Mims Hall, the Biology Building, certain areas on the north campus, and in the mall of the War Memorial Student Union.
Donnie Booth, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and a member of an ad hoc committee addressing the issue of smoking on campus, explained that the new Louisiana law prohibits smoking in most public places and workplaces, including all restaurants and educational facilities.
“Research has confirmed that the health effects of secondhand smoke exposure are more pervasive than originally thought, and exposure to secondhand smoke is more than a mere annoyance,” Booth said. “It is, in fact, a serious health hazard that can pose an immediate health threat to individuals with asthma or smoke-related allergies.”