|Removal of 'Smoker's Table' Enfroces Policy
Manchester University adopted a 100% smoke-free campus policy on July 1, 2012. Howevernot everyone is happy about this. “It’s hard to not smoke on campus, especially when it’s so cold out,” said on student. “Some people say it’s my own fault, but that’s an unfair thing to say.” His/her identity remains anonymous due to the fear of receiving a fine, even though the policy — found online — clearly states the following: “All community members and guests will be treated with dignity and respect.”
During the fall semester, a “smoker’s table” existed outside of Schwalm Hall as a place for students to smoke on campus. However, students have heard it has been banned, because of secondhand smoke drifting with the wind.
Secondhand smoke is essentially the reason for any campus becoming smoke-free. No-smoke.org presents several statistics as to why a university should become smoke-free. Many risk factors such as tobacco use peak from 18-25 years of age, making college a possible turning point in the choice to use tobacco or not. 24.8% of full-time college students aged 18-22 years old were current smokers in 2010, and the progression from occasional to daily smoking seems to occur by age 26.
Many students agree with MU’s decision to prohibit tobacco. “Everybody smoked outside of East, and when I opened my window I could smell it drifting in,” said senior Heather Talley. “I love the ban, they should have done it sooner.”
First-year Josh Busenbark said he looks forward to clean air throughout his years at MU. “I feel bad for people addicted to smoking, but majority rules,” he said.
And he’s right. Only 19.3% of the adult (18+) population in the United States smokes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is another contributing factor in creating smoke-free universities.
However, just because it’s banned doesn’t mean people don’t do it. “While I’m happy for the ban, people still smoke,” said sophomore Aubrey Smith. “For track practice we run all over campus, and just the other day some guy was smoking right on the sidewalk. I then had to run through his cloud of smoke.”
The Manchester smoke-free policy make students, faculty and staff members are obligated to say something to those who break it. For the most part though, people don’t enjoy telling others what to do. The student from the beginning explained that no one ever really says anything to him/her. “Most people completely ignore me if I’m smoking on campus,” the student said. “If anything, they give me a look, and most of those are amused looks. Like it’s funny I’m getting away with it.”