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Smokers at the Nursing Education Building will have to butt-out in July, when the building officially becomes smoke-free. Nursing School officials have considered proposals to restrict smoking in the Nursing Education Building since September. In December, the Nursing School Council distributed surveys to the school's students, faculty, staff and other building residents outlining three proposed smoking regulations. The proposals asked whether occupants wanted to make the building completely smoke-free, allow smoking in a well-ventilated and isolated area, or continue with the current system. Smoking is currently allowed in restricted areas that are not isolated from non-smokers. Kristin Davidson, an assistant dean for the school, said respondents voted "overwhelmingly" to ban smoking. Vice President of Facilities Management Art Gravina said University Policy allows individuals to decide if they want to smoke in their own office. In open space, the entire group has the right to impose any restrictions, usually through a vote. Non-smokers' opinions, he said, are generally given greater weight. But he added that if the occupants of an entire building decide to ban smoking from the whole building, "so be it." Nursing senior Patti Pearson, an officer in the Nursing Student Forum, said students supported either ventilating the building's third floor, one of the main smoking areas, or making the building entirely smoke-free. "We, as health pre-professionals, should support a health issue," she said. Davidson said that the new policy will not go into effect until July 1 because faculty did not want to "abandon" smokers. The Council is encouraging building occupants who smoke to attend a training workshop to help them stop. "The school will pay the cost for the workshop," Davidson said. Associate Nursing Professor Ellen Baer advocated the proposal to restrict smokers to an isolated and well-ventilated area, noting that only approximately 25 percent of the surveys were returned. "I believe in freedom of choice of our bodies in all realms," Baer said. " In a well-ventilated and isolated space smokers would not have a negative impact on other people's health and they could continue their behaviors." Baer, who does not smoke, said that a space along an exterior wall could have fulfilled her suggestion. Nursing Education Building Administrator Ernest Beier said it is possible the restriction may be eased to allow smoking in the building's atrium.

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