Campus Life

Tobacco free UC

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According to ABC News, a third of college students use tobacco whether it be smoking or chewing. This does not include professors and faculty members who use tobacco. As of May 1, 2017, the University of Cincinnati became a tobacco free campus. This policy has been up and coming since 2006, when UC enacted a smoking policy which stated restrictions of smoking within 25 feet of all entrances, exits, windows, air-intakes, and vehicles on Main Campus. A few passed laws and cigarettes smoked later, the Board of Trustees voted to ban all forms of tobacco on August 24th, 2017.

UC is starting out with enforcing this policy by simply educating UC as a whole. They are providing cessation programs, as well as information cards to hand out to students and faculty within UC. Fines and things of that nature are most likely to be expected in the near future if students and faculty do not comply with the newfound policy. Compliance rates have yet to be determined for UC, however both students and faculty have witnessed hot spots of tobacco use across campus which will remain anonymous.

There are mixed feelings and opinions on said Tobacco Free UC policy. Some are relieved that they no longer have to walk through smokers’ secondhand smoke. Some are agitated that they can no longer get in a quick cigarette between stressful classes. Both sides are valid. This Tobacco Free UC policy certainly fits in with other campuses in Ohio, such as Miami University. Surely this policy does not hurt when it comes to parents making an ultimate decision in where their child goes to college. This raises the question: Do tobacco free policies have more to do with ethos of the university than the health of its students? More and more businesses are requiring that new hires are tobacco free as well.

A business undergraduate at UC argues, “There should at least be a designated smoking section for those who choose to smoke.” Conversely, a criminal justice major at UC supports the policy, explaining, “It’s refreshing not having to walk through the smell of smoke walking into the buildings.” There are also students who are neutral about the subject, or are empathetic to both sides. A professor at UC noted that this was, “a step in the right direction,” adding, We “need to provide more cessation programs in order to help those who still use tobacco.” Perhaps the difference in opinions may have something to do with discourse communities within various majors or professions?

This is definitely a transition for both students and faculty. The university as a whole will have to get used to this policy. There are definitely mixed opinions among the discourse community. The primary motive behind this tobacco-free movement remains unknown. Did University of Cincinnati make the right decision making their campus tobacco free?

A Tobacco Free UC sign sits near an entrance to Muntz Hall.

A Tobacco Free UC sign sits near an entrance to Muntz Hall.

About Kayla Vaske

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