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Colleges to Extinguish Smoking on Campus

July 12, 2012

Colleges to Extinguish Smoking on Campus

by Kara Coleman

As many as one-half of America’s college campuses are preparing to become smoke-free. Though some schools currently ban indoor smoking or smoking within a certain number of feet from a dorm or academic building, new regulations would discourage students from lighting up even in open air on campus.

As would be expected, students are divided on the issue. Some feel that since college students are adults and smoking tobacco is legal, schools are overreaching their boundaries. Smoking is a stress reliever to many students, is less addictive than chewing tobacco and less dangerous than smoking spice or illegal drugs. Advocates of the no-smoking-on-campus rule cite secondhand smoke exposure as a big reason to bring about this change; they also say it is the responsibility of colleges and universities to encourage healthy habits.

As a non-smoker myself, I am very much in favor of not allowing students to light up on campus. I am not bothered so much by secondhand smoke at the university I attend now as I was at my community college, however: All the buildings were so close together on that campus that there really weren’t very many places to go outside and not inhale smoke. Some people (students AND faculty) would even light up as they walked down the sidewalk, leaving a trail of cigarette smoke wherever they went.

Some campuses are set to become smoke-free as soon as this fall, while other schools don’t plan to enact the rule until the 2013-2014 academic year. Is your school thinking about becoming smoke-free? If so, how do you feel about it? Do you think not permitting students to light up on campus will discourage them from doing it elsewhere...or are schools just blowing smoke?

This past summer, Kara Coleman graduated from Gadsden State Community College with an Associate of Arts degree and she is currently studying communications with concentration in print journalism at Jacksonville State University. Kara's writing has also been featured in Teen Ink magazine and she is a children's author through Big Dif Books.


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3 Comment(s)

mary p on 7/26/2012 7:29:15 PM

As a smoker I believe this is very discriminatory. Might as well ban obese people or those who drink alcohol from attending college, they kill too, which people seem to look past. I understand some are allergic or sensitive to smoke and I always stay by my vehicle or inside it when smoking. I also don't see how someone can ban someone else from smoking in open air, there is no claim or ownership of air like there is around classrooms and buildings.

Alishah R on 7/23/2012 11:14:05 AM

I really love this article. I remember writing a paper about cigarette smoking and how it's one of the leading causes of death. I agree, smoking should not be allowed on campus.

Cari G on 7/21/2012 9:55:11 PM

It's about time for this. I was more than disappointed when I saw that San Jose State waisted money on putting expensive ashtrays all over campus last fall. It makes me think that part of our tuition increase is paying for that. That really upsets me since I don't smoke and I am extremely sensitive to cigarette smoke. No one needs to smoke and there is nothing intelligent about smoking. Isn't college a place that is suppose to be about intelligence?

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