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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Nov. 17, 2006

P&S Council vote favors extended smoke-free areas

by Erin Rosacker

The Professional and Scientific (P&S) Council had three voting items on its Nov. 3 agenda, but a motion that asked President Gregory Geoffroy to modify the campus smoking policy got the most attention.

A motion to change council representation from the now-defunct external affairs area to the president's office area and another motion that created a standing committee dealing with university budget and planning issues had no trouble getting unanimous consent. It was the smoking policy issue that consumed a good portion of the meeting.

The original draft -- which suggested a complete tobacco ban by 2008 and called for funds to help campus members with smoking cessation programs -- sparked debate at the council's October meeting. In response, a three-question survey was sent to P&S staff, drawing just over 300 responses.

Survey says

The initial question asking if ISU should eliminate smoking within 25 feet of building entrances and exits, got 246 responses in agreement, 48 against and 15 without an opinion. When asked if ISU should move toward prohibiting tobacco use on campus, the margin narrowed, getting 182 "yes" votes, 102 "no" votes and 24 that chose neither.

The final question asked if ISU should provide funds and resources to campus members who want to quit using tobacco products. Of the 307 respondents, 178 agreed, 86 disagreed and 43 didn't choose either.

Proposed campus ban withdrawn

With survey results in hand, council members approved three amendments, including the withdrawal of both the proposed campus-wide tobacco ban and funding for smoking cessation programs. Another amendment included acknowledgement and endorsement of the campus task force also working on making changes to ISU's current smoking policy.

In the end, the amended motion to eliminate smoking within 25 feet of campus buildings passed 26-4, with one abstention. In addition to sending the finalized document to Geoffroy and other key campus administrators, the council plans to provide the motion and survey results to the campus task force.


The council motion, as approved, did not include a campus-wide tobacco ban or a request for central funding for smoking cessation programs, both components of an earlier proposal.