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      Michigan Tech goes tobacco-free

      Michigan Tech students and faculty began classes Tuesday as a tobacco-free campus.

      An idea, first proposed in 1986, is now in full effect after students voted for the campus to be completely tobacco-free, smoke or chew.

      â??A number of people pointed out the unsanitary conditions sometimes that are left from people leaving chew cups and things like that in classrooms, and it can get to be somewhat of a mess sometimes,â?? explained Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz.

      Tobacco is still allowed at the university golf course and the Mont Ripley ski hill, but if students want to smoke on campus, they will have to be in their car.

      â??You still have the option to smoke off campus,â?? said student Michael Tuski. â??I mean, itâ??s not that far of a walk, and I donâ??t like having smoke around, personally.â??

      But not everyone agrees. Some believe the policy is disrespectful to people who choose to smoke and that it could hurt the universityâ??s relationship with the community.

      â??Students and faculty members can walk right off of campus and smoke, but now they donâ??t have a receptacle to dispose of their smoking waste,â?? said graduate student Margo Woller-Carter.

      Even though signs have been put up indicating a completely tobacco-free campus, President Mroz said nobody is going to be fined or ticketed if theyâ??re caught with tobacco. They are, however, offering cessation classes for any students or faculty member who might be interested in quitting.

      â??I think that having that interim step of actually telling us, â??This is where you have to go to smoke,â?? is a much better option than saying, â??Now you canâ??t smoke on campus at all,â??â?? Woller-Carter added.

      University officials said itâ??s a push toward a cleaner, healthier campus.

      â??We are advertising a lot so that people understand that that is the policy and also advertising the health risks that come along with smoking and the use of chewing tobacco,â?? Mroz said.