This upcoming fall, smoking will be banned on Castleton University property. Students will have to find alternative locations to light up.
According to an ABC News report from August , a third of college students said they had used a tobacco product — cigarettes, chewing tobacco and increasingly, cigars — in the last four weeks. Nearly half of the students admitted they had used tobacco in the past year.
Students at Castleton will have to step away from the designated smoking areas near the dorms and academic buildings and take a stroll to Main Street to get their tobacco fix.
This new ban can positively affect non-smoking students while putting a damper on students who choose to smoke.
Perhaps surprisingly, there are numerous colleges and universities across the country that encourage smoke-free campuses. According to no-smoke.org, as of Jan. 2, 2017, there were now at least 1,757 100 percent smoke-free campus sites. Of these, 1,468 are also 100 percent tobacco-free, 1,331 prohibit e-cigarette use, 652 prohibit hookah use, and 109 prohibit smoking or vaping marijuana.
It’s unclear whether e-cigs, hookahs, and vaping will be banned, but the ban seems unnecessary to me. Students should be allowed to smoke on campus as long as they’re respectful about it. Prohibiting smoking on campus isn’t going to stop smokers from smoking, they will just find new places to smoke or will smoke on campus regardless of the rules.
But some Students on campus think the ban is useful, if implemented correctly.
“I don’t mind when people smoke in the designated areas where they can. I don’t appreciate when people smoke when they’re walking to class and the smoke blows in my face. I also don’t like how people smoke right outside of Leavenworth; it just looks bad as a campus. I thought there was a rule where it was 15 feet away from the building and smoking right outside Leavenworth seems to defeat that,” said junior Elly Zelazny.
Some students find the ban shocking.
“Honestly I feel like that would be outrageous. I think that the way it is now is working just fine. People should be allowed to smoke on campus,” said junior Marco Lam.
Sophomore Elizabeth Morris finds the ban unfair.
“I think it’s unfair to people who smoke because they already have limited space to do it and now they’re just going to take it away completely. It’s their choice to smoke and they’re not bothering anyone so it shouldn’t matter,” Morris said.
Other students think the ban isn’t useful.
“I worked at UVM over the summer and they banned cigs and tobacco use on campus there and it didn’t really work – still hasn’t worked. There’s no one policing it and when someone gets caught then they just get a shaken finger and say ‘that’s allowed.’ I feel like banning cigs is just a waste of time and pointless. If people want to smoke, let them smoke,” said junior Bryan Vachereau.
Banning smoking on campus might not necessarily make changes in ones habit. Students aren’t going to make lifestyle changes because a ban is in place. If smoking is prohibited, then students will have to take their habits elsewhere.