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Southern University goes tobacco-free

4 years ago October 31, 2011 Oct 31, 2011 Monday, October 31 2011 Monday, October 31, 2011 4:26:14 PM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Stephanie Ryan

BATON ROUGE-- Southern University is going tobacco-free January 2.  The Board of Supervisors voted Friday in favor of banning all tobacco on every campus in the state, including Baton Rouge's campus.

That means no snuff, no cigarettes, nothing.

Folks who pushed for the ban at SU's Ag Center are forming a task force this week to figure out how they'll enforce the ban.  Right now, they are considering a citation, but said they won't kick anyone off campus for using tobacco.  Their main goal is to educate people on the harms of tobacco.

"We have a responsibility to improve the quality of life for people," Ag Center Chancellor Leodrey Williams told News 2.

That means making sure no students suffer the consequences of second-hand smoke, Frankie Poland said.

"By going smoke-free, it will automatically help the health and well-being of the campus," Poland added.

Gina Eubanks helped push the ban through.  She estimates 25 percent of Louisianians are smokers, and she wants to lower that number.  As a former smoker herself, she welcomes pushback from students on the ban.

"When an individual voices concerns, thenyou know how to present information to them," Eubanks said.

Eubanks plans to include tools to help wean students and faculty off tobacco products.

Smoker Jeremy Jason just may take Eubanks up on the offer.  He's tried to quit several times unsuccessfully.

Jason thinks the ban is a good idea for the university, but has plans of his own once it goes into effect.

"I understand where they're coming from, but if I have to smoke, I'm gonna go to the Bluff," Jason said.

Right now, anyone can smoke on Southern's campus as long as they are not inside a building.

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