PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A smoking ban that will be phased in over the next year on the Portland and Gorham campuses of the University of Southern Maine is getting a mixed reaction from some students.
USM officials say a poll taken two years ago showed that the majority students, faculty and staff members favor the ban because of concerns about second hand smoke. Right now there are designated smoking areas on both campuses for students to light up. A year from now smoking, dipping or chewing tobacco on campus property will be prohibited.
This fall staff are educating students about the ban, passing our fliers and posting information. In January, signs will go up prohibiting tobacco use. USM officials are not saying how the policy will be enforced or what disciplinary sanctions students face if they violate the ban. Students we spoke to say the new policy goes too far.
'I think that's a little harsh, just because you can't tgell people to stop smoking altogether, it's a public thing that htey do so I think there should be some designated areas,' said Hillary Waring a USM junior.
University of Maine at Orono was the first university in Maine to implement a tobacco ban on campus. Since it's policy went into effect, about a handful of students have reportedly violated the policy.