Cessation programs make smoking ban a ‘success’



UK’s tobacco ban has been in effect for a year now, and officials have deemed it a success.

Tobacco Policy Research Program Director Ellen Hahn said UK finds the ban successful because of the number of students, faculty and staff members who have enrolled in tobacco cessation programs. Since the cessation programs began in October 2009, about 83 students and 45 faculty and staff members have enrolled in the programs, Health Education coordinator Fadyia Lowe said.

“Most students hate the fact that they smoke,” Lowe said. “Less people want to smoke because of the ban.”

To help students, faculty and staff quit, UK pays for nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, gum and lozenges, Lowe said. To combat the physical aspect of the addiction, people trying to quit are given a kit with putty and cinnamon flavored toothpicks.

Although Hahn is content with the cessation program’s success, she knows problems exist in the ban’s enforcement.

“While it’s going well, we know people still smoke on campus,” Hahn said.

To combat tobacco use on campus, Hahn said the ban relies on students, faculty and staff to approach users and politely ask them to quit.

“There are no smoke police,” she said. “We’d like people to approach users kindly, but people do not always feel comfortable.”

To promote comfort in everyday enforcement, Hahn said the Tobacco Policy Research Program is making Youtube videos that give viewers scripted messages to say to ban violators.

“The key here is to remind people of the ban and ask nicely,” Hahn said.

Hahn said for smokers who persist, a higher form of punishment is available.

“If you know someone who is consistently violating, report them to the Dean of Students,” Hahn said.

Hahn said she knows of at least one student the Dean of Students Office is reprimanding. The reporting process will become easier next semester, Hahn said. UK will introduce an online form people can submit to report violators.

While enforcement needs improvement, Lowe said the ban has been great for UK.

“It has really put us ahead,” she said. “A tobacco ban at a school in a tobacco state. Who would have thought?”