Western's Designated Area Smoking Policy

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For those on Western's campus who often light up, they'll now have to do so in a designated area.

The school has ok'd a law that will put smokers in certain places by every building.

"What we had an issue with was when people wanted to step outside a building or leaving class and they wanted to smoke, they were just gathering wherever."
"In some instances they were smoking near mechanical machinery that would pull the smoke back into the building," says General Counsel Deborah Wilkins.

The idea had been one that was on the table for over a year.

WKU was close to unveiling its new plan when the state made a similar mandate calling for all state agencies, including universities, to define a smoking policy earlier this month.

"Since we had already prohibited smoking inside the buildings and were virtually prepared to go ahead and designate these particular smoking areas, the timing was just right for us."

Western senior, Malcolm Byrd, a smoker himself, says the policy is a good way to cater to smokers and non-smokers.

"People do have asthma and other breathing problems and I don't want to contribute to any body's breathing problems."

Western has been testing this system out unofficially for several months and Wilkins says that so far the policy seems to be working.

"We have not had any feedback that's negative. No complaints that I'm aware of. Since people are more likely to complain about something than they are to praise something, then I assume its going well."

Wilkins says that trash cans and cigarette receptacles are already in place around campus.

She also says signs designating smoking areas will go up throughout campus soon.