University to draft updated campus smoking policy

UHS Executive Director Sarah Van Orman said the new campus smoking policy will contain three changes, including updating it to more fully comply with state law.

Image By: Betsy Osterberger

Executive Director of University Health Services Sarah Van Orman said Thursday the campuswide smoking policy will undergo three changes in an updated version.

UW-Madison’s current smoking policy, developed in 1991 and last amended in 2008, calls for all university-owned buildings, indoor areas and vehicles to remain smoke-free, as well as outdoor areas belonging to the university medical center.

Van Orman said campus policy does not fully align with the Wisconsin Indoor Air Act, a change that will appear in the updated version to comply with state law.

Additionally, Van Orman explained most campus smoking policies contain exceptions, which UW-Madison currently does not have. Exceptions in the updated policy will include the right to smoke for an approved research study pertaining to smoking, smoking as part of a theatrical production and smoking for a cultural practice, such as Native American religious rituals.

E-cigarettes will also appear in the new policy, Van Orman said, and will be subjected to the same rules as regular cigarettes to clear up any questions or controversy on the issue.

Van Orman said she will continue educating campus government groups on the new policy and then will present the changes with Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Darrell Bazzell.

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