Smokeless Wright State: possible campus smoking ban

Kelsey Anne Smith, Contributing Writer

Soon, the air of Wright State may be smoke free.
In May of 2007, the state of Ohio began enforcing a non-smoking policy in public areas, such as bars, restaurants, and businesses.  Although this policy is sometimes ambiguous about where smoking is banned and where it is not, it may soon specifically cite college campuses as non-smoking areas.
In July, the Ohio Board of Regents voted to begin encouraging public universities to ban smoking on campus.   Although this is just an encouragement and not a law, it has caused many universities to review their tobacco use policies, and has also caused some changes.
Although WSU’s smoking policy did not change, it has been on the discussion table for months, even before the vote in July.
Student Norris Collins said, “If they’re not going to pass the ban, they should at least move designated smoking sections away from the door.  I don’t want to have to go through a cloud of smoke.”
While many non-smoking students may not be too concerned with this issue, those who are smokers certainly will voice their opinions.  A ban on smoking would mean that all smokers living in the dorms would have to walk off campus.
“If you don’t like the smell, don’t stand around me,” said student Taylor Pennington.
Why the sudden push to make a change?  The Surgeon General’s 2012 report showed that roughly 1/3 of college students smoke.   They found that many programs that worked to keep students away from tobacco have been cut.  An estimated 3 million students have begun or continued smoking due to a lack of these programs.
In data shown by the group Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, tobacco bans have risen exponentially in past years.   A decade ago, there were very few college campuses that banned smoking indoors and outdoors.  Now, there are 774 schools that participate in this ban.
Whether or not WSU participates in the ban is still up in the air.  However, as nearby schools such as the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College review their tobacco policies, it will continue to be an issue that will affect college students across the state.

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