At the May regular meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to approve a new policy making the Traverse Area District Library (TADL) buildings and grounds smoke and tobacco free. Tobacco use and smoking in all forms, including the use of electronic cigarettes and smoke-free oral tobacco products, is not permitted in any facility or property owned or leased by TADL.
The purpose of this policy is to provide comfortable, accessible facilities and a welcoming environment at the TADL facilities free from the health hazards resulting from exposure to secondhand smoke.
TADL Vice President, Micheal Vickery sees this policy as, “a simple and straightforward smoke and tobacco free campus policy,” noting that, “the basis behind this policy is public health and consistency with other public spaces in the community.”
This policy applies to all persons, including employees, patrons and other visitors to property owned or leased by TADL.
“We’ve received many comments and complaints over the years from patrons about smoking on the library grounds,” said Library Director Gail Juett. “Aside from the concerns about children and adults walking through secondhand smoke while entering or exiting the library, the litter of cigarette butts strewn about is unsightly and unwelcoming,” she said.
Smoking may occur on public sidewalks adjacent to Woodmere Avenue, but not on walkways within the property line. The policy also provides that smoking is permitted within enclosed personal vehicles as long as the vehicle is parked at least 25 feet away from any facility entrance and/or 25 feet away from any ventilation intake.
TADL Trustees agreed that the policy is effective immediately, however there would be an educational and practical transition time prior to enforcement. Library administrative staff are preparing new signage to inform the public of these changes, prior to enforcement.