NMU makes right move in banning tobacco on campus

Northern Michigan University is implementing a new tobacco-free policy, which although might inconvenience a few people, will benefit the greater good.

NMU will prohibit students as well as university employees and visitors from using tobacco, including e-cigarettes and oral tobacco products.

In case anyone is unfamiliar with the new policy, plans call for signs to be installed throughout campus.

The policy is not punitive – NMU Public Safety officers will not issue tickets – but instead is focused on creating a healthier environment.

However, employees not following the policy will be asked to attend meetings with a supervisor and potentially undergo disciplinary action for subsequent violations, while students will be warned for the first two violations and given a conduct charge for the third.

It’s likely not all visitors will know of the new policy, so they will be notified, and if they refuse to comply, will be asked to leave campus.

This scenario should be conducted with reason, with Public Safety getting involved only if someone is combative. In fact, anyone on campus has the authority to politely inform the community about the policy.

Bars and restaurants, which although are enclosed environments, have tobacco-free rules, so it stands to reason a campus – also a heavily populated spot – follows suit.

Even if a student, faculty member or visitor doesn’t suffer from second-hand smoke, going tobacco-free sends a message that NMU promotes a healthier lifestyle.

A person can leave campus and either smoke or not smoke, but at least the new policy is setting some standard in a specific environment.

We think it’s a good one.