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Ohio State sets boundaries on tobacco ban


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Ohio State students, staff and faculty officially have boundaries for where they can get their tobacco fix.

The university’s tobacco-free policy, which went into effect Jan. 1, was recently updated to include a map showing the boundaries of where exactly the tobacco-free policy applies.

The policy does not apply to the South Campus Gateway, but it reaches as far north as past Ackerman Road to areas as far south as King Avenue, and from High Street to areas as far west as North Star Road, according to the boundary map.

OSU spokesman Gary Lewis said the ban applies to a variety of properties.

“The tobacco-free policy applies to all owned, leased or managed university property including regional campuses and Ohio State medical care centers throughout the state,” Lewis said in an email Friday. “Additionally, it applies to golf courses, airports, nature centers, and parking lots and garages, including state and personal vehicles parked on university property.”

Since the ban went into effect, some campus-area employees, including Amber Rapier, a shift supervisor at the Starbucks location at 1782 N. High St., said they have seen an increase in the number of people leaving campus to use tobacco products.

“I notice people who start leaving class or something, they’ll start smoking as they cross the street, because you can’t smoke on campus,” Rapier said. “I’m sure people are still doing it, even though they’re not supposed to. But I’ve definitely noticed more coming this way from campus.”

Tyler Cooper, a manager at Tobacco International, located at 18 E. 13th Ave., said he’s seen more faculty members coming off campus to smoke than students.

“I’ve definitely seen more faculty coming across High Street than students,” Cooper said. “OSU’s campus is large and far-spreading. I think designated smoking spots would make a little more sense than a complete ban.”

Veronica Bruns, a third-year in biology, said she supports the tobacco ban, but she still sees people smoking on campus. Bruns said she thinks there would have to be punishments for violating the policy in place for the ban to be fully effective.

“Smoking is bad for your health, and it not only affects the person who is smoking, but also the people around them. I do not personally smoke, but just getting a whiff of smoke in your face, it’s not something you want to be around,” Bruns said. ”I don’t think it will end up working very well if there are no punishments. I feel like if there was actually some work on enforcing it, it would really work.”

Lewis said while there is still no defined punishment for people who violate the policy, there are avenues for discipline.

“Currently, there is not a prescribed method for dealing with violators of the policy. As with many of our policies, final decisions for enforcement measures lie with unit/department heads and/or residential advisers/directors. Enforcement could run along a continuum from doing nothing to letting someone go/suspending them,” Lewis said. “Students would not be dismissed.”

Tobacco ban violations are not handled by the University Police, but instead by the Office of Human Resources.

The campus-wide ban was announced in 2013, and was set to take effect Aug. 1. In August, however, university officials said the ban would not be enforced until 2014.

Besides cigarettes, OSU’s tobacco ban includes tobacco chew, e-cigarettes, snuff and snus, which is a “spitless,” moist powder tobacco pouch, according to the American Cancer Society.


  1. Without consequences, all the University has managed to do is extend the hourly smoke break from 10 mins to 20. Smokers have to cross Lane Avenue and smoke at the VC. I just don’t understand why smokers get to only work 75% of the time. Smokers has a year to partake in the cessation program. They should be docked pay, written up and/or fired.

  2. I still don’t understand the ban on e-cigarettes. It seems so stupid that something that doesn’t contain tobacco and the only byproduct is water vapor can’t be used on campus. Nicotine on its own is no more harmful than caffeine.

  3. Personally, I do not smoke, I became a non-smoker 17+ years ago. That said, when you allow your freedoms to be taken away on the pretense that its bad for you, where is it going to end? They forced “healthy foods” in the vending machines. I wonder the lost revenue those machines have seen.

    Also, I was recently at a concert in the Schott, there was a designated smoking area. According to the map this is in the smoking ban area. The concern for our health apparently is not a concern when OSU is making money? Lets not forget next to that “healthy” vending machine is a Coke machine, unhealthy but multi-million dollar deal for OSU.

  4. Its ridiculous For osu to ban e-cigs if they are serious about wanting people to be healthy. It’s the most effective method out there. Whats even more ridiculous is that nicotine inhalers ARE allowed, but not e-cigs!

    I was told basically e-cigs were banned because they “look” like smoking. What a crappy reason to disallow the most effective means of quitting cigarettes. Really makes me sick. It worked for me, and now I have to sneak around campus to use it. Can’t even vape outside, total BS!!!!

  5. This makes me very glad I no longer work at OSU or go to the campus area anymore. I recently became an ex-smoker and certainly I know that tobacco use is not healthy but where does this fascism in the name of health stop? Alcohol certainly causes more deaths and permanent injuries but we won’t make the mistake of banning booze again. Or fat in our food. Or any of the thousands of other products that most of us use just about every day. But it’s been open season on tobacco users for decades and not even the most radical patriot groups bat an eye.

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