Currently, most campus buildings require smokers to stand 10 feet away from an entrance, but Paula Staight, director of health education at the University Health Center, said the board hopes to expand that distance as much as 40 feet.
Establishing a 50-foot smoking distance would allow for easier enforcement, Staight
said, adding that nobody is currently responsible for enforcing the rule, and it usually ends up being the job of individual building managers.
Lillis Business Complex Facilities Coordinator Frank Sharpy agreed that enforcing the smoking rule is difficult, and a smoker who is violating the rule is usually gone by the time someone gets outside to tell the smoker to move.
"I can't go around this building all day long asking people to move away from the building," he
The Lillis Business Complex is the only building on campus with a 50-foot smoking rule for several reasons, Sharpy said. He
said the building has such a state-of-the-art air exchange system -- a blending of interior and exterior air -- that smoke can really affect the air brought into the building.He
added that Lillis has an extremely sensitive smoke detection system, which could be triggered by smoke filtering in from vents on the ground floor around the perimeter of the building.
Sharpy also said that he
has received many complaints from people within the building claiming that "smoky air" is getting inside.
hopes the Advisory Board will be able to change the smoking distance regulation of the Oregon Administrative Rules because they are very outdated and state that staff can smoke in their offices.
One route the board is taking to change the rule is by planning several discussions with departments and organizations on campus that deal with enforcement.
Board members also plan to discuss smoking with incoming freshmen, distribute information about it in University literature and incorporate it into new employee orientation.They plan to use these methods to educate the campus about the distance rule as well, if it gets extended. Staight
is also working with the board to eliminate designated smoking entrances on campus, and she
added that smokers generally don't want to push their smoke onto others who don't want to smell it.
"We just want to protect people's health," she