American University Smoking Ban Sparks Debate

Friday, Aug 16, 2013  |  Updated 8:38 PM EDT
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American University joined the list of about 1,200 universities banning smoking of tobacco products on campus. News4's Erika Gonzalez reports.

Erika Gonzalez

American University joined the list of about 1,200 universities banning smoking of tobacco products on campus. News4's Erika Gonzalez reports.

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As of this week, smokers must leave American University’s campus when they want to light up, sparking debate on the campus.

Thursday, AU joined the list of about 1,200 universities, including Maryland and George Washington, banning smoking of tobacco products on campus.

“My fraternity actually hosts an annual even called hookah and hummus on the quad and that’s no longer going to be able to happen because of the ban,” student Raj Shah said.

The ban also applies to medical marijuana and e-cigarettes. Even smokers in their cars on campus will be considered in violation of the ban.

“I also think it could cause a lot of smokers to go off campus to smoke, and this is D.C, even though this is a better part of D.C., there’s a lot of crime still around,” smoker Joe Ross said.

“The primary reason we’re doing this is to support again the health and well-being of the community,” Dean of Students Dr. Robert Hradsky said

Repeat offenders will receive written warning that they need to comply. Failure to comply again could mean disciplinary action.

Of its approximately 15,000 students, about 2,000 are smokers, according to the university.

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