UW-Stout may start smoking fines come fall

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(WEAU) - The Director of Communications at UW-Stout says the Chancellor may either implement fines or even hire someone to monitor campus to stop smokers.

The Chancellor is having a meeting on Friday morning with the UW legal system to discuss these options.

Tobacco free is what the UW-Stout campus has been since 2010.
It's the only four year public school in Wisconsin to have a tobacco free campus.

But people are still choosing to smoke.

"I'm getting emails, the chancellor is getting complaints our students have said they want us to do something about the people who choose not to comply," said Doug Mell, Director of Communications at UW-Stout in a phone interview.

The Chancellor informed students and faculty on Facebook to try and stop.

"I have been told by certain students who choose not to comply with this that were going to keep violating the policy until you start fining us," said Mell.

Meanwhile a local attorney says the campus should have the right to write citations to the public if smoking on campus.

"The UW system shouldn't have jurisdiction over public sidewalks, so you could see large groups of smokers smoking and saying na na na na, can't fine me" said attorney Harry Hertel.

Students say smokers can often be found in an alley on campus and there were even cigarettes on the ground to prove it

But, if the Chancellor's policies go through and they are found smoking there will be consequences.

"I'm really opposed to it, I feel like if a student or a faculty member, staff member want to engage in smoking then they should be able to in public areas," said Jocelyn MacAskill.

"I have asthma so one of the biggest things for me is having to deal with people who are smokers around me," said Randy Lim.

UW-Stout leaders say they may never get 100 percent of people to stop, but they feel its important to do as much as they can to encourage as much compliance as possible

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