Smoking Ban Do’s and Don’ts

Frank Lillig

As of August 1, UMKC implemented a smoking ban on campus. This new policy comes from a student and faculty led initiative which decided that UMKC should be smoke and tobacco free to make a safer and healthier environment for students. UMKC is one of many universities, about 1,400 as of July 2014, to have implemented a tobacco ban. The ban prohibits everything from cigarettes, cloves and cigarillos to e-cigarettes, hookahs and chewing tobacco. The ban also brings several programs to help those who are struggling to quit smoking.
So what does all this mean to the resident tobacco users of UMKC? While there are regulations about where one can light up a smoke, spit into a can or share a hookah with friends, there is a simple way to deal with them.
One regulation demands that all tobacco use be prohibited from the campus grounds. While that includes the quad, academic buildings and even parking garages, it does not include the comfort of one’s own car—as long as the windows are rolled up. This should be easy for those who prefer chewing tobacco, but for smokers like myself, this is a little harder to do—or maybe it’s just me.
However, there is solace in another little loophole. UMKC has no power over what are designated as “public rights of way.” This means sidewalks near streets. These sidewalks are owned by the city of Kansas City, not UMKC. As far as I know, there is no new smoking ban for the entire city – yet.
Now, what happens if you get caught smoking on campus grounds? The policy says violators “…will be subject to corrective action under the Human Resources Policies and Procedures or other applicable university regulations or policies.” Whatever that means.
And what if you are ready to quit smoking? UMKC has several programs for that. The University provides many ways to help people quit smoking. One is at the Student Health and Wellness Center, which has cessation coaches, along with other means of helping you quit. For more information, log on to UMKC’s website, search “Quit Smoking” and the Smoke Free UMKC page will come up to show you all you need to know.