University of Akron bans all smoking including e-cigarettes

AKRON, Ohio-- Students at the University of Akron are being reminded that as of July 1, smoking of any kind will not be permitted on campus or at any off-campus university activity.

The school will begin enforcing a ban that not only includes cigarettes and all tobacco products, but e-cigarettes as well.

The ban will include prohibiting smoking inside cars on university property.

"It's something certainly that has been recommended at the state level for all of the public institutions in Ohio to consider adopting and would actually be encouraged to adopt. The health risks are well known and documented and there are people who will talk about not having to subject themselves to smoke if they are not a smoker but they are wandering through where people are smoking," said Wayne Hill.

Hill says the policy was written with input from a university council which includes representatives from faculty, staff and the student body.

It closely mirrors policies that are already in place or that will be enforced at other state universities including Kent State University, where a similar policy will also become effective on the same date.

Along with the ban, the university will be hosting programs and make resources available to help smokers who want to kick the habit.

Hill says when drafting the policy a vast majority of people who were questioned responded that the ban would not impact their decisions about whether or not they would want to attend the University of Akron.

"As part of the research leading up to this policy we did survey the campus and got about a 20-percent response rate which was pretty good and more than 80-percent of those who responded said that having this policy would not affect negatively their decision either to enroll at the university or to work at the university," said Hill.

While students and employees are expected to abide by the ban Hill says there will not be a heavy-handed enforcement of it.

"It's not that there is going to be smoking police going around but being able to have the policy and to make people aware of it and then encourage compliance with it as we go, it's going to be a process," said Hill.‚Äč