By Mohamed Al-Sedairy—
Beginning in Fall 2011, Landmark College implemented a campus-wide smoking policy that bans all smoking except for inside the seven designated smoking areas and shelters.
Previously, smokers needed to be 25’ from buildings, outside campus vehicles, or away from other non-smoking areas with signs.
Learning to live with those favoring and opposing smoking fits in with learning here. Landmark College is place where people learn, not only academically, but even socially.
The school has a dry campus policy, and its 25-feet away policy for smokers meant that smokers had to be that far from any building in order to smoke. Yet a lot of students have not followed that policy, and therefore the school became a big smoking chimney.
This semester the school had new students coming, two of whom are allergic to nicotine. In response, school officials have limited the places where smoking is permitted. At first some students complained. Then some smokers actually said it was good because they have cut-down on smoking.
The campus air now feels so fresh this fall compared to last summer or even last semester when smoke was found throughout campus.
Suggestions have been made to make a smoker section near the dorms, closer to exits to go outside to smoke, placing non-smokers on the other side so they would not be bothered by their fellow smoking students.
In an interview with the security department on campus, they added that the change in smoking policy was a good thing since there are fewer cigarette butts on the ground, and that gives them a better, cleaner environment to work in.
A fellow student added that this policy is not having much of an impact since he still smells cigarettes inside his room.
Sean Smith, a member of Residential Life staff, has said that the students were very helpful and respectful when it came to not smoking in any area that is not designated.
Other students, smokers and non-smokers, have mentioned that this is not an effective plan, since smokers have had to change their smoking locations because of a few individuals in school.
Some new students, with less exposure to smoking, might not know yet that they are allergic to nicotine and that could make for unanticipated health issues.
Meanwhile, non-smokers interviewed said that they can still smell cigarette smoke coming through their windows from students smoking in the designated areas.
Smoking is an issue that can divide smokers and non-smokers, and certainly cause strains within the community. Learning to live with the new policy is something we all need to do.