March 12, 2004
Legilature Bans Smoking By University Buildings
The Wisconsin Legislature took positive steps for a healthier Wisconsin on March 9 when the Senate passed a bill making all University of Wisconsin residence halls smoke-free and creating a 25-foot smoke-free radius around those buildings.
The bill, authored by State Rep. Robin Kreibich (R-Eau Claire) will help reduce the number of college-aged smokers, reduce fire hazards in the residence halls and reduce the cleaning and maintenance costs for the UW System. In addition, the bill would create a potential penalty for violators.
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls recently passed a 25-foot smoke-free radius policy around all campus buildings that went into effect in January. All campus buildings are smoke-free. Residence halls went smoke-free in the fall semester of 1999.
Students have been the driving force behind these changes. As one UW-RF student put it, "I don't like smoke coming through my first floor window. I have asthma and I don't like smoke invading my home."
UW-RF health education coordinator Keven Syverson added, "Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., killing approximately 65,000 Americans each year. I would like to thank the Wisconsin Legislators who voted for the bill and are working to improve the health of our state's campuses."
For more information, contact Syverson at 715/425-3293
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