COLUMBIA — With the start of July came the second step of MU's three-step plan to become a smoke-free campus by 2014.
People can smoke in areas around 15 designated smoking urns on campus, in MU parking lots or on the top floor of MU parking garages.
"I think it's a little ridiculous, and outside is everyone's technical property," said Dustin Ramirez, a delivery driver for Domino's Pizza on campus. "They already took cigarettes away from inside of buildings — they cannot take it away from outside."
Ramirez thinks the plan is respectful, but also a little unfair to people who smoke, such as himself.
The university began the transition toward a smoke-free campus in 2008, and people who smoke have been required to do so at least 20 feet from building entrances since then.
Ramirez was one of several people interviewed around campus Wednesday about the latest step in the plan.
"I don’t think people will care about this policy," he said. "People are going to smoke anyway. They are not illegal. I wonder what the penalty would be given if I smoked (outside of a designated area)."
MU spokesman Christian Basi said any action taken by MU officials for violation of the policy will depend greatly on the situation.
“Education is a large part of the policy," Basi said. "As more people are educating about the current restrictions, we hope that we will see fewer violations of the policy.”
Smoking areas were selected based on looking at where people typically went to smoke, Basi said.
At the MU Student Center, employees of Tiger Tech were smoking behind the building, which is a non-designated area. The employees said they knew they should be smoking somewhere else and that an eventual campus-wide ban is unrealistic.
Evan Whittaker, a Tiger Tech employee who has been smoking for two years, said it might affect his short break time.
“It’s a little over the top," he said. "I understand health concerns, but I think (the designated area) should be doubled. I think there is going to be a major opposition to a complete ban.”
Chase Whisenhunt, who also works at Tiger Tech, said smoking should be a personal choice and it would be a hassle if it’s prohibited on campus.
"People are going to smoke, and you can’t limit it,” Whisenhunt said. “I think if you want to ban cigarettes on campus, I think you should take away things that kill as many people as smoking, such as trans fat, first.”
Junior Laura Orozco, who plans to quit smoking, said she is encouraged by the prospect of a smoke-free campus, but more information is needed.
"And I understand the health purpose. But I also don't really follow it," she said. "To me, it's just a formality, like alcohol in dorms."
Senior Dylan Muckerman said he's never smoked a cigarette in his life, but he said he understands the perspective of some people who smoke.
"They do a good job on encouraging (people to quit), but especially if you have a job on campus, I think at least a few areas are necessary for workers,” Muckerman said.
Basi said he expects that it will take time for everyone to know about MU's push to go smoke-free and that there will be visitors, new students or people who've been away who might not know about it.
"If you find somebody who isn't following the policy, go up to them and tactfully tell them about it," he said. "If it keeps occurring, people can report it to the building coordinator, and he or she will work with that person and make a judgment on how to proceed."