Fallin douses designated smoking areas

designated smoking areas
OU President David Boren’s hopes for designated smoking areas on the Norman campus were extinguished Monday by an executive order from Gov. Mary Fallin. By putting her signature to Executive Order 2012-01, Fallin banned the use of all tobacco products on “all properties owned, leased or contracted” by the State of Oklahoma, including all buildings, land and vehicles owned, according to the executive order.

All OU campuses will be expected to comply with the ban, which will force OU administrators to draft a new smoking policy before the OU Board of Regents hold their next meetings March 28 and 29 in Norman.
When the revised ban is presented to the Regents, it will be the second time in as many meetings that a tobacco ban has been addressed.

The Regents voted unanimously on Jan. 25 at the OU Health Sciences Center to adopt a ban which allowed two designated smoking areas on campus.

With the passage of Fallin’s order, all OU campuses, which fall under the heading of state-owned or state-leased property, can no longer provide the designated smoking areas.

The areas were set to be placed at Lloyd Noble Center and part of the Dale Hall parking lot, according to tobacco ban policy adopted in January.

OU will submit a tobacco policy to the OU Board of Regents that is in line with Fallin’s decision, OU spokeswoman Catherine Bishop said in an email.

When the revised policy is submitted, the change in policy regarding the university’s designated smoking areas will be the only major revision, Gary Raskob said in an email. Raskob is the College of Public Health dean and the former chairman of the university’s advisory tobacco committee formed to help craft the initial policy.

The rest of the policy already approved by the Regents is in line with Fallin’s order, Raskob said.

Fallin has given every state-owned and state-leased property until July 1 before the tobacco ban will go into effect. This is the same time OU’s original tobacco ban would have been enforced.

A new policy will be drafted and submitted to the OU Board of Regents, OU spokesman Michael Nash said.