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Campus ban on smoking is working, University of Oklahoma officials say

by Silas Allen Published: January 14, 2013

At the time, OU President David Boren said he supported including the two designated smoking areas because an outright campus ban would likely lead smokers to cross busy streets to smoke just off campus.

Boren said he was concerned that would create safety issues and litter in areas where smokers congregated.

Fallin's executive order, which didn't allow for designated smoking areas, superseded the previous OU policy. OU officials later adopted a policy that complied with the executive order.

Allison Douglas, an OU senior, said she's noticed a difference on campus since the ban took effect — but perhaps not the kind of change OU officials had in mind.

In the past, Douglas said, she saw people on campus smoking in the open. While walking down the sidewalk, she would often find herself walking behind a smoker, which meant she was walking in a cloud of cigarette smoke.

That doesn't happen anymore, she said. Instead of smoking in the open, smokers tend to duck into corners where they won't be noticed, she said.

“I still see people smoking,” she said.

Douglas isn't a smoker, and she said she supports the smoking ban. Having people smoke in the open on campus used to bother her, she said. Even if the ban has only moved the smokers to more secluded parts of campus, she said, it's helpful.

Douglas thinks the ban reflects the wishes of most people on campus. She also thinks it's likely good for campus health, she said — if it discourages people from smoking, that's a good thing.

“I think it's a good idea,” she said.

by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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