Task force takes next step in ban

NKU’s tobacco policy task force is transitioning the university to tobacco-free this semester by putting up permanent signage, developing a compliance policy and talking to smokers.

The campus-wide tobacco ban is set for January 2014. According to NKU’s Dean of Students Jeffrey Waple, the task force will focus on finding places where people smoke on campus, what he calls smoker “hot spots,” this semester.

“We’re going to figure out where we need to put up more marketing and also we’re going to be concentrating on talking to people in those areas about what’s happening in the future,” Waple said.

The task force will be meeting on Aug. 29 to review a draft of the compliance policy that Steven Weiss, a communications professor and one of the task force chairs, has written.

Weiss and Waple are both task force chairs. Karen Campbell, former director of wellness and the third chair, resigned this summer to accept another position elsewhere.

The task force also plans to set dates for permanent signage and compliance in the Aug. 29 meeting, according to Waple.

NKU is using the University of Kentucky’s tobacco policy to learn from. UK went tobacco-free in 2009 and, according to NKU’s tobacco task force’s meeting minutes, has started a website where people can anonymously upload pictures of people violating the tobacco ban.

Dean Waple said he doubts that NKU will do anything like that.

“One of the things is [UK] did not have a compliance piece in place,” Waple said. “I don’t believe that, from a student perspective, this is a suspendable offense unless we have a repeat violator.”