This archived article was written by: Mae Goss
“Just because you’re 25 feet away from the double doors doesn’t necessarily mean you’re 25 feet from the intake,” Director of Public Safety, James Prettyman states.
Recently on the campus of the College of Eastern Utah, several complaints about second-hand smoke reaching their rooms from opened windows have been made. This may be because there is a breeze, but more likely because smokers are not complying with the law. As of its last update in May 2008, the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act clearly outlines the rules of this law. “Outside smoking designated areas are not allowed within 25 feet of building entrances, exits, air intakes or windows,” tobaccofreeutah.org says. Smoking within 25 feet is against this act and is illegal.
Often ashtrays are placed closer than 25 feet, and are often found right outside doors to buildings. These ashtrays are not for mingling purposes, they are merely for extinguishing cigarettes only says tobaccofreeutah.org.
“We get very few complaints,” Prettyman says. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t a problem; it just means that no one is willing to take the initiative to report an offender. “If there’s a problem then we need to know about it. If there is a problem area and people are standing 25 feet away from the building and are still in compliance, then the administration would need to be notified and simply say that 25 feet is not enough.
On CEU’s campus, if someone is found smoking within these 25 feet, they are required to move to an area outside of the 25-foot range. If there were to be a complaint, any CEU faculty or staff has the right to tell that offender to move to 25 feet away. If it were to happen again, they would be referred to the dean of students as a student code of conduct violation.
Not only can the faculty and staff ask people to move away from entrances or intakes, but students have every right to ask them to move as well. “We [as a staff] can’t be at the entrance to every building 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so we need people to help us,” Prettyman admits. It isn’t just the responsibility of the workers to stand up for this law. Everyone needs to take a part in helping enforce the law.