Some students at Ohio State University are upset over $100,000 from a “benefits” fund that they feel just went up in “smoke”.

Ohio State has spent roughly half its $100,000 signage budget to make sure when visitors come to campus, they remember to put out their cigarettes.

OSU’s tobacco ban went into effect Jan. 1, and $43,000 has already been spent for signs and banners promoting the policy, university spokesman Gary Lewis said in an email.

The money used comes from “benefit funds,” not a single department, and is administered on behalf of OSU by the Office of Human Resources. Facilities Operations and Development is responsible for placing and maintaining the signs around campus.

Lewis did not give further explanation on what constitutes university benefit funds.

Signs have been placed outside several university buildings, including the Ohio Union, and banners have been hung in parking garages.

One student said the $43,000 was money ill-spent.

“I don’t think that’s the best use of that money. I think that makes sense to get the word out, but at the same time I don’t think it’s very effective,” said Trevor Kononenko, a first-year in pre-business.

Kononenko said he walks by the Wexner Medical Center every day, which has been tobacco-free since 2006, and sees employees and others smoking near a large sign that advises visitors of the ban.

Karl Fredal, a fourth-year in economics and German, said the problem lies with the policy itself, and the university shouldn’t be trying to regulate student health.

“Naturally I’m sort of biased but I think it’s kind of a silly policy,” said Fredal, a regular smoker. “I hardly see how that will be beneficial to the student body as a whole.”

Fredal said the money spent on signs was “pretty much a waste of money” and doesn’t see the method as being effective in deterring students, staff, faculty or visitors from smoking.

Buckeye TV has a video report: