GW: smoking ban success will rely on ‘culture change,’ UPD to assist with verbal warnings

Students protested the smoking ban in Kogan Plaza last fall. The policy officially went into effect last week. Hatchet File Photo.

As GW begins to enforce its campus smoking ban this fall, University Police officers will be stationed outside buildings and in campus areas during high-traffic times, a top administrator said Monday.

Police officers will offer “verbal reminders” to students who violate the smoke-free policy, which covers most of campus, Senior Associate Dean of Students Mark Levine.

“It is not our goal to get smokers in trouble,” Levine said. “I know it is hard to quit smoking which is why we are providing outstanding resources at no cost to students, faculty and staff to encourage smoking cessation.”

He stressed that the campus “culture change” would happen over several years, kick-started by the University’s free quitting resources.

By October, the repeat offenders will go through the University’s disciplinary processes. “For those that continue to smoke on campus, we will apply a progressive approach through our administrative and disciplinary processes,” Levine said, but did not provide specifics.

Students will be reported to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, while faculty and staff will be directed to the provost’s office and Human Resources, respectively.

“We anticipate, as has been the experience at other colleges and schools that have gone smoke-free around the country, that members of the community over time will adhere to the policy and help us all share the air,” Levine said.

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