Regents set to vote on tobacco ban

FAIRBANKS (AP) — The University of Alaska Board of Regents is set to consider implementing a tobacco ban on all campuses.

The issue is scheduled for a vote Thursday at the regents’ meeting at the University of Alaska Anchorage, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

The proposal would halt the use of tobacco almost everywhere on UA properties. Forms of tobacco under the ban would include cigarettes, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes.

The proposal is the result of a September request to UA President Pat Gamble by regents, who wanted a draft of a tobacco-free policy they could consider.

Under the proposed ban, tobacco use would be prohibited in all forms in most areas, including building interiors and campus trail systems.

Tobacco use would be allowed in private vehicles not parked in a UA garage. Also exempt would be remote research sites and fenced construction zones, as well as tobacco use for research, ceremonial purposes and pesticides.

Chancellors at each campus would direct implementation dates. But if the ban passes, it could go into effect no later than Dec. 1, 2015.

The call for tobacco free campuses has grown in recent years, and students have testified at regents’ meetings in favor of tighter restrictions on tobacco.

Earlier this year, University of Alaska Anchorage students approved a non-binding measure to prohibit tobacco on campus. At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a 2013 employee survey on whether to go tobacco-free deadlocked with a 387-387 vote.