The University of Montana Western Campus is now officially smoke cigarettes free. Every year, more and more college campuses enact "tobacco-free" ordinances, banning the use of cigarettes, chew, and any other form of tobacco.

But the while the University of Montana Western is hauling away their ash cans like everyone else, they're not planning to just say you can't smoke cigarettes there and penalize you if you don't follow the rules.

"We've chosen to look at it more like an educational process. We don't anticipate that we're going to have people that want to violate it or violate it repeatedly. But we actually have administrators who will deal with those people on a one to one basis by talking with them about the issue and some of the problems that we encounter," explained Director of University Relations Kent Ord.

"We're going to have a few kinks to work out with how the process will work if you do get caught. Right now it's just kind of a warning and if you keep doing it you get sent to the Dean students and they decide what to do. We don't actually have a set plan for how to deal with violators," added UM-Western senior Elida Craven, a tobacco free task force member.

But not all of the students and staff are happy about the change.

"I think a lot of people are frustrated by it, they feel it's their right to smoke. Particularly students who may be addicted to cigarettes, they're going to have to go off campus to smoke cigarettes and that's going to cut into their learning time and make problems," sophomore Amanda Copus told us.

"Basically what we're trying to do is create a healthy environment for everyone, and being tobacco free is a very important part of that," Ord concluded.

UM-Western joins the growing ranks of Montana school's that have decided to go tobacco-free. Montana Tech, Montana State University in Bozeman, MSU in Billings and the University of Montana in Missoula either have, or will soon will have, tobacco-free campuses in the Treasure State.

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