Smoke-free policy settles over K-State campus

Signs have been posted around K-State's campus to inform the community of the new smoking policy, effective June 1. (Rachel Kamm | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State’s new ‘Cats for Clean Air policy settled over campus like a thin veil of smoke on June 1, and the wind will not be blowing it away anytime soon.

The policy — which prohibits smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars, electronic cigarettes, vaporizers and other similar devices on campus except for in enclosed personal vehicles — was set in place to “maintain an environment and culture that is in the best interests of the safety, health and well-being of all users of university property.” The policy began with a kickoff event Friday in Bosco Student Plaza.

The event featured giveaways and handouts including “quit kits” and HealthQuest information, educating people on the health factors associated with the prohibited activities and providing on- and off-campus resources to help quit smoking.

According to the policy’s FAQ, it is “intended to be self-enforced.” Those who do not comply will be held accountable under the Student Code of Conduct. Faculty and staff may be subject to disciplinary action.

Julie Gibbs, director of health promotion at Lafene Health Center, said she encourages students to help make sure this policy is enforced and successful.

“Get the guts to go up to other people and tell them this is a smoke-free campus,” Gibbs said. “I think eventually it will get to a point where people just know it, and it’ll just happen.”

However, with the policy taking effect during the summer, some students may return to campus in August unaware of the new smoking ban.

“My biggest concern is that people might not even know about the policy,” said Rachel Navrat, recent K-State graduate with a master’s degree in accounting.

The health promotion staff at Lafene works to encourage long-term health within the K-State community and will work to promote awareness of the smoke-free policy through K-State Today, social media and postings on campus and in residence halls.