Slow acceptance for campus smoking ban

U-News Staff

UMKC’s tobacco ban was implemented Aug. 1st, and bans tobacco use on campus sidewalks, campus parking lots, recreational areas, outdoor stadiums, University-owned and leased vehicles and buildings.

Former smoker Julie Kostoff said she thought the ban would be more effective.

“Sometimes when I see people smoking [on campus], it’s a trigger for me to want to have a cigarette,” Kostoff said.

“One of strategic plan areas for the University is to ’Lead in Life and Health Sciences.’ I don’t know how we do that and not address smoking/tobacco,” said Eric Grospitch, dean of students. “I hope that ban allows us to continue to focus on the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.”

Some students, like Monty Taylor, simply forget about the tobacco ban. Taylor said he has smoked on campus despite the ban.

Taylor said if he wanted to smoke, the ban wouldn’t stop him.

“If I was going to smoke between intermissions at a concert or between classes, I would just do it anyway,” he said.

Many students believe the ban was abrupt, and disregarded students’ opinions.

“There were advertisements and notices in place last spring with cessation information provided to students, faculty and staff,” Grospitch said. “The ban itself came to the University through a group of students, and eventually, a Student Government Association resolution. Students voted as part of the SGA election, and the plan was put in place August of the following year.”