Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

1,000 butts to be delivered to American University's president

Cigarette ButtsRamping up his effort to make American University’s smokefree areas mean something, student Noah Jacobs has been collecting cigarette butts from the ground on campus. They come from the areas that are supposed to be smokefree but aren’t, because students ignore the building setback signs.

Jacobs, a graduate film student who has produced a video about the lack of enforcement of smokefree areas, is waiting until he has 1,000 butts. He then will deliver them to the president’s office. He told the school newspaper, the Eagle:

I believe it undermines the integrity of the University to have a policy printed on doors that you don’t enforce.

Director of Sustainability Chris O’Brien has drafted a policy that would make the whole campus smokefree, but not for three years. That policy is to be considered this spring.

The thing is, it doesn’t take three years to make a place smokefree. In fact, you can do it pretty quickly. Post signs, remove ashtrays and alert the school newspaper. Everyone will get the message.

And believe me, the nonsmokers will appreciate it.

We are cheering Jacobs on. What he is trying to achieve is so very basic and should be so very doable, it just defies credulity that he must go to such lengths to prompt the school to enforce its own rules.

American University is one of seven area schools that Smokefree DC and the Center for Tobacco Regulation at the University of Maryland recently sent letters to, urging that they become smokefree.

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