University of Alaska Fairbanks to go smoke-free

ANCHORAGE — Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will no longer be able to smoke, vape or chew tobacco on campus starting Thursday.

 

The change comes after the University of Alaska’s board of regents approved a policy last year banning the use of tobacco and tobacco-related products across all campuses. UAF was the only campus that failed to meet this year’s Dec. 1 deadline, The Alaska Dispatch News reported.

Kris Racina, UAF associate vice chancellor of university and student advancement, said campus officials wanted to hold off on implementing the policy until the start of a new semester.

“They come back to a new world and we also kind of wanted to capitalize on everybody’s New Year’s resolutions,” Racina said. Most buildings on campus reopen Jan. 4.

The new rule prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes, traditional cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs and chewing tobacco on campus. The products can’t be used on university-owned grounds, trails or parking lots. But students are allowed to smoke in their cars on campus.

“We had to make that bend in the rule because we have public roadways going through our campus,” Racina said.

The University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau have already implemented their smoking bans this year.

The UA system is one of at least 1,620 other campuses across the country that has gone completely smoke-free, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Tobacco Free College Campus Initiative.

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