The American University of Beirut officially banned smoking on all campus grounds, effective Jan. 1, after several months of experimentation with a tobacco-free policy.
AUB President Fadlo Khuri announced a task force in March 2017 to explore the possibility of instituting a campus-wide ban. The campus first launched designated smoking areas before slowly creating a full ban.
Khuri said he met with officials from the World Health Organization and set an ambitious goal to transition the university into a smoke-free campus in a short time.
“I undertook to make AUB completely tobacco-free within 24 months,” Khuri said in 2017. “With a packed agenda of programs in the meantime, we have kept this tight timeline in view and last month I sent out instructions to form a Taskforce for a Tobacco-Free Campus.”
The first phase designated smoking areas and banned tobacco in certain buildings and locations on campus, Khuri said.
The second phase designated smoking in peripheral designated areas, and the third phase banned smoking on all AUB properties.
According to the university, students, staff and faculty caught using tobacco on AUB property will receive smoking cessation resources. However, a persistent breach of the policy would result in disciplinary action in accordance with the university code of conduct.
The work of the taskforce is to bring an end to this accommodating approach to tobacco use, to expand it to all forms of tobacco, smokeless and the water pipe included,” Khuri said. “(It is also) to transform the university space into one that supports the choice of not smoking.”