Smoking bans to be proposed

Lucas Aulbach

The future of smoking in Bowling Green is facing changes this month as several proposals to ban smoking in the region are in the process of being drafted.

One authored by City Commissioner Brian Nash will apply to indoor smoking in the city, while another, drafted by the University Senate Faculty Welfare Committee, is hoping to eventually stop tobacco use on campus entirely.

Nash said he plans to bring the city proposal forward to the board of commissioners in February.

Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker said she’s a “big supporter” of the proposal.

“(Smoking) is one area that I’m embarrassed to say Bowling Green is behind the Commonwealth in,” she said.

Walker said she supports the bill because it will keep citizens healthy, such as those who work in the service industry, like waiters.

“No worker should be faced with health hazards caused by smoking at the workplace,” she said.

A proposal for a smoking ban at WKU has also been in the works recently.

Jim Fulkerson, professor of interdisciplinary studies at WKU, said he has been working for several months on collecting information about smoking on campus and plans to present a proposal to the University Senate this month.

He said his proposal outlines a plan to gradually get rid of tobacco use on campus.

The proposal was drafted by Fulkerson and the Faculty Welfare Committee in an attempt to make all of WKU healthier.

“There have been so many issues with smoking that affect all faculty and students,” he said.

Fulkerson said he e-mailed a survey about smoking to all WKU faculty, staff and students last March.

He said the results contributed to the proposal.

Fulkerson said that according to the survey, about 71 percent of the 3,231 respondents said they favored a total tobacco ban on campus.

The proposal he said he plans to present will include one year of having designated smoking areas on campus before the full ban would take effect.

If the proposal passes, WKU will institute the designated smoking areas during either the next semester or the following semester, he said.

“Basically, we will become a tobacco-free campus by Spring of 2012,” Fulkerson said.

He said the ban will also apply to chewing tobacco.

Some WKU students are supportive of the ban.

Bowling Green senior Jennifer Thurmond said she understands why people don’t want to inhale the smoke when they’re outside.

Thurmond, a smoker, said she thinks having designated smoking zones for the first year will help the transition.

Richmond junior Rachel Rost, a smoker, disagreed with the proposal.

“It’s not a huge deal, but I don’t think smoking outside should really be restricted,” she said.

Florence freshman Emily Kemp, who isn’t a smoker, also agreed with the proposal.

“It’s happening all over the country; I think it’s good we’re coming around, too,” she said.