Alaska News

University of Alaska regents approve system-wide smoking ban

The University of Alaska Board of Regents voted Thursday to ban the use of tobacco and tobacco-related products across all campuses, strengthening the current policy that only prohibits smoking inside university facilities and residential halls.

Under the new policy, UA is deemed a smoke- and tobacco-free environment, barring the use of tobacco almost everywhere on university properties, including trails and outdoor recreational areas. Products banned include cigarettes, hookahs, electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

Chancellors will decide when to implement the new policy at individual campuses, but bans must be in place before Dec. 1, 2015, according to the draft regulation.

Under the regulation, "no smoking/no tobacco use" signs will be posted throughout campus and tobacco-free requirements will be incorporated into job postings and contracts.

Areas excluded from the ban include personally owned vehicles parked or driven on campus, public sidewalks that border campus and areas within a fenced construction project.

The tobacco ban came up for vote Thursday after regents in September sent a request to UA President Pat Gamble for a draft of a tobacco-free policy that they could consider.

Tegan Hanlon

Tegan Hanlon was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News between 2013 and 2019. She now reports for Alaska Public Media.