Beginning next month, anyone caught smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco on Eastern Kentucky University campuses could be ticketed. EKU officials are cracking down on offenders after declaring all campuses tobacco free more than a year ago.
Eastern employees in parking services will be responsible for enforcement of the stricter policy. EKU Chief External Affairs Officer Kristi Middleton says violators could face a $25 fine. “They’re going to do the best they can to enforce this policy, whether it’s something they observe while out on their regular patrols or if someone has reported anyone violating the policy," Middleton said. "This is all just to improve the experience of anyone who comes to learn, live, work or visit our campuses."
Middleton says the policy pertains to smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco in university buildings, residence halls, on campus grounds, parking lots, athletic facilities, and entertainment venues. Eastern student Michelle Goda of Plainfield, Indiana supports the tougher penalties. “Controlling someone else’s health choices is something that is pushing it a little bit," Gods said. She added, "But I really do appreciate what president Benson has done so far. So I hope that it will make our campus more beautiful as a result.”
Goda admits stiffer penalty could create some tension between enforcement officers and some students.