UNM makes move to become a tobacco-free campus

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Starting next year, smokers are going to want to be careful at the University of New Mexico.

A $100 fine will be issued if smokers are caught smoking in the wrong place, and soon those designated smoking areas will be harder to come by.

There are currently eight designated smoking areas on the UNM campus but after next year, those spots will be harder to find.

“When the program is fully rolled out in the Fall of 2017, they will be reduced to the bare minimum,” said John Steiner of the UNM COSAP.

There will be four designated smoking areas to be exact. Smokers will have two areas on the north side of campus near the hospital and there will be two areas to smoke in the residential part of campus.

If smokers are caught in a non-designated area, there will be a $100 fine. However, the university doesn’t want the fine to be the focus of trying to make UNM a tobacco free campus.

“We want people to do this in a sense of community, we’re going to appeal to them that way that this is a move for the health and well being of our campus community,” said Steiner.

So far, students have mixed feelings about the upcoming change.

“It’s also good for people who are non-smokers too,” said Nicholas Sigmon, a student at UNM. “It doesn’t give them a chance to get second hand smoke and second hand lung cancer.”

“I don’t think that it’s possible because a lot of people smoke here,” said Julius Le, another student at UNM.

Regardless of how students are taking the change, UNM will eventually become a smoke-free campus.

“Do this in stages with increasing the awareness and understanding of the policy before we start enforcing it,” said Steiner.

So far, UNM has not fined anyone, but they have handed out warnings.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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