News Story

MSU: You Can Be Ticketed For Smoking in Your Own Car

Using e-cigs, chewing in cars also banned

Beginning on Aug. 15, a new tobacco-free policy at Michigan State University will make drivers subject to a $150 fine for choosing to smoke or chew tobacco while traveling on public roads that cross the school’s East Lansing campus.

“There’s no directive to our police that this needs to be strictly enforced,” MSU spokesman Jason Cody said. “We are looking at it through an educational lens.”

Cody said he didn’t envision a police officer pulling over a motorist for smoking and giving a ticket. He did say he could see an officer on a bike telling a motorist who was smoking about the no-smoking ordinance.

The ordinance was passed by the board of trustees on June 17, 2015. Its effective date was set for more than a year later on Aug. 15, 2016.

“A new policy is an effective, cost-efficient way to protect the health of the campus community and encourage tobacco users to reduce or eliminate consumption, thus increasing life, longevity and vitality,” the MSU tobacco-free website states. “Most tobacco users want to quit, and tobacco-free environments encourage users to quit and help them maintain a tobacco and nicotine free status.”

Students and MSU employees could face additional sanctions.

“Students who continually violate the ordinance could face sanction through the student judicial system, and employees could face repercussions via Human Resources (just as students and employees could for violating any MSU ordinance),” Cody said.

The ban also extends to the use of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco on campus, including inside a private vehicle.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.