According to a piece at CNN, the University of Kentucky is now beginning its bizarre and invasive anti-smoking campaign. As Stephanie Steinberg explains:

This summer, a group of University of Kentucky students and staff has been patrolling campus grounds — scouting out any student, employee or visitor lighting a cigarette.

Unlike hall monitors who cite students for bad behavior, the Tobacco-free Take Action! volunteers approach smokers, respectfully ask them to dispose of the cigarette and provide information about quit-smoking resources available on campus.

Well, that’s what they do at first. Eventually they’re totally going to get all hall monitor and punish students. According to the university “students who violate the policy will be subject to corrective action according to the applicable disciplinary code (i.e., the Student Code of Conduct and/or the Health Care Colleges Code of Student Professional Conduct).”

This is part of the university’s anti-tobacco campaign. The school banned tobacco use on campus back in November 19, 2009, but the enforcement provisions are apparently being refined over time. Some 300 college campuses now have smoking bans even on outside grounds.

The University of Kentucky is also home to the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center. UK has not indicated whether or not it also plans to have volunteers approach staff at KTRDC, respectfully ask them to study other subjects, and provide information about alternative jobs available on campus.

KTRDC is funded by a dedicated tax on cigarette sales in Kentucky.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer