UH Manoa going tobacco-free Jan. 1

Published On: Oct 03 2013 06:37:00 PM HST

Not in your dorm, not while walking to class ... not even in your car. A campus-wide tobacco ban at the UH Manoa campus is set to begin Jan. 1 after being approved by the student Senate in February, 2012. The vote on Resolution 05-12 was 21 to 6.

"We're not nannying them in a sense where it's just because," said UH Senate President Richard Mizusawa. "It's because of the fact that we want to promote long-term benefits, longer lives (and) healthier living."

The Manoa Faculty Senate also approved the tobacco ban in 2012, and it has the support of Chancellor Tom Apple, who said it applies to everyone.

"Anyone within our perimeter, our entire campus we wanted to be tobacco free, smoke free (and) e-cigarette free," said Apple. "We know that cessation of smoking is good for everyone's health, and if we save one life from this policy, we're doing a very good thing."

Hang Ryong Cho, an exchange student from Korea, has been smoking for the past two years, but agrees with the new campus-wide policy.  

"I agree, because (non) smoking people have rights," Cho said.

However, some students believe the ban goes a bit too far. Senior Mark Hogan said smokers and those who use other tobacco products shouldn't be treated like outcasts.

"Maybe if they keep it towards a few areas where you can smoke, I think that would be a reasonable way of going about it, but that's just my opinion," said Hogan.

Apple says students and faculty who don't follow the ban will not be expelled or fired, but habitual offenders could face disciplinary action.

"What we want to do is have this be a social peer-pressure type policy," Apple explained. "People will feel free to approach them, let them know about the policy in a very non-confrontational way."

And while UH Manoa is set to go tobacco-free at the start of 2014, alcohol will still be served on campus at Manoa Gardens, a popular pub where a 32-ounce beer costs about $6.

KITV4 asked Apple if he might also consider an alcohol ban?

"That's something we should talk about," he said. "I think that's certainly one of the things we should consider."


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