TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - The University of Alabama will be a smoke-free campus as of Jan. 1, 2015.
Smoking, including e-cigarettes, will be banned on all facilities, grounds and parking areas on UA's campus when the new policy goes into effect in the new year.
Smoking has been banned inside all UA buildings, including dorms, since 1991. Smokers were also required to be at least 30 feet away from campus buildings since 2007,
“The policy protects the UA community from the dangers of second-hand smoke, promotes a healthier environment and reduces the problem of littering and the risk of accidental fires due to discarded cigarettes,” the university said in a statement on Tuesday.
Margaret Garner, Interim Executive Director of UA's Student Health Center, said she believes they are making the right decision at the right time.
"It focuses on the importance of health and well-being for our entire campus community, the faculty, the staff and the students, as well as our visitors," Garner said.
"There is no more convincing evidence out there in the research literature than the dangers of second-hand smoking. It's really involuntary smoking by those who are experiencing second-hand smoke. You can't find anything with more evidence that this is the right way to go," Gardner said.
UA is offering resources for students and faculty who want to stop smoking and has a list of
on their website.
University officials say they are joining more than 1,400 college and university campuses that are smoke-free.
in August 2013.