Tobacco ban being enforced at West Virginia University


West Virginia University banned smoking in all areas on campus starting Monday, July 1.

"No one wants to see the cigarette butts laying around. It's a pretty campus, and we don't want to destroy it with a bunch of yellow cigarette butts laying everywhere," said Kathleen McElroy, a WVU student and smoker. "And also when people are touring the school, getting ready to send their kids to school here. They probably don't want to see a big group of people standing there smoking."

The smoking ban covers all property owned and operated by WVU. It also extends to any streets that pass through or are adjacent to the campus.

McElroy said she understands the ban but doesn't think it will do much good.

"It's kind of just too broad. It's not like they're saying you can't smoke inside," McElroy said. "It's everywhere. And I don't think it's going to stop them from smoking on campus."

The main change that comes with the ban is there aren't any designated smoking areas on campus. Anyone wanting to use tobacco products will have to leave any property owned by WVU.

"If they really want the ban to be effective, I think there needs to be some sort of known repercussions for smoking on campus or smoking outside of the designated areas," McElroy said.

Students can be expelled and WVU faculty can be fired for smoking on campus.

There is one exception. The smoking ban is lifted in areas where large events are taking place, like during football or basketball games.

WVU officials do want people walking through campus and students to help enforce the ban.

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