Metro Community College board votes to prohibit smoking on campus


OMAHA, Ne (FOX42KPTM) - In just a few months it will be against the rules to smoke or use chewing tobacco anywhere on the Metro Community College campus. That includes all Metro locations in the Omaha area.

"We want to make Metro a healthy place for everyone," said Kara Eastman, a Metro Community College board member.

At Metro, a bright red 'Drug Free Zone' sign stands by the front entrance. Come September, smoking in your car won't be allowed either.

"This is about keeping our students, faculty, administration and anyone who steps on the campus healthy," said Eastman.

The board voted this week in favor of the smoking ban. It used to be you could light up in a designated area at least ten feet from a building.

"The ban is absolutely a step in the right direction."

Under the new rules, e-cigarettes are also barred. That's an eye opener for people who see those as a safe alternative to cigarette smoking.

"Where we would have a conflict with that rule would be the fact that they're kind of putting vaping in with tobacco," said Lance Tyson, who questions the ban. "We think that vaping and smoking are just two different things."

For campus police, the task now is to work on how the policy will be enforced and to get trained.

"They are already thinking of ways to do this. They've been talking about this for a while. They have models from other colleges," said Eastman.

For a lot of people, the new rules will take some getting used to. The ban was approved by the board with an 8-3 vote. The new policy takes effect September 17th.

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