Saturday, April 6, 2013

Smoking Bans



As most of us know, UMass will be joining 1,100 other campuses in a smoke free environment for its students and staff. The university will be administering the smoking ban campus-wide on July 1, 2013. Upon the return to campus for the fall 2013 semester, smoking will no longer be tolerated. This includes all areas of campus as well as inside vehicles and parking lots.

Within this article, the author discuses the impacts of municipal smoking bans in public areas such as restaurants and bars. Recent studies showed that there was generally an improvement seen with the use of smoking bans in place. Smokers reduced the number of times they stepped outside for a smoke and the second hand smoke completely disappeared, improving the health of the employees and other guests.

Although smoking bans are beneficial, study shows that smoking rates are still high. A study of student smokers showed that label warnings were not necessarily helpful in preventing the decision to quit smoking. More dramatic warnings such as “smokers die earlier” versus the typical warning, “smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy” were shown to the students. Those who smoked for self-esteem reasons actually viewed smoking more positively after seeing the new warning. Those who didn’t smoke for self-esteem reasons viewed smoking more negatively.

Tell me your thoughts about smoking. Do you think that the new smoking ban at UMass will have an effect on the students and staff?  Would different warning labels on cigarettes packages cause smokers to quit smoking or will they be ignored regardless of the dramatic warnings?

Kimberly Ty (3)

12 comments:

  1. The University of New Mexico has implemented a campus-wide smoking ban a couple of years ago. However, it is to be enforced by the staff, faculty, and students themselves: Unfortunately, it seems that many of them don't want to wait to get off campus to smoke and I still see many smokers on campus, just no ashtrays for them to properly dispose of their butts anymore...

    -- a UNM staff member

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do not smoke and get very frustrated whenever I have to stand next to someone who is blowing smoke around without caring. I really like the idea of a smoke free campus. At the same time though, I see that smokers who will continue the habit may end up smoking outdoors anyway. One possible idea is for UMass to have smoking areas. GCC has little vented gazebos where people can go to smoke without getting lots of secondhand smoke into the air. This may be a helpful idea.

    posted by Ashley Sterpka (1)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UMass most likely initiated the smoking ban to create a better environment for its students and staff. You're probably agreeing with other readers that there should be designated areas for smokers/smoking on campus. This theory seems to be going against the idea that UMass is looking to raise awareness in the health risks of smoking. To encourage students and staff to kick a bad habit, allowing for such areas can encourage an unhealthy lifestyle.

      Kimberly Ty (3)

      Delete
  3. Do you think that with the Smoke ban here that a lot of people will follow it? Also how would you think that they will enforce the rules? since there are about 30,000 students in all, undergraduate and graduate students combined.

    Posted by Cynthia Bui (1)

    ReplyDelete
  4. As a former smoker, I like the idealism, but in my opinion the policy is doomed to failure. Even if you can get everyone to stop smoking on campus during the day which is highly unlikely, there is still the matter of weekend nights. The influence of alcohol and people visiting from other places will very likely make the rule completely null. I think something reasonable to expect is less people smoking in plain sight and around buildings.

    Hunter Alexander (1)

    ReplyDelete
  5. The smell of cigarettes make me sick and I have never smoked them. I understand why this policy is being put in place, but I still think people should be able to smoke outside on campus. I haven't ever had an experience where I have been exposed to someone's smoke outside because I have the freedom to walk by them or around them. I think it would be much more effective to have designated areas where people are allowed to smoke. Especially since people already don't follow the 10 (20?) feet distance from buildings rule while smoking. This just predicts that people will sneak cigarettes and probably toss them on the ground since there won't be any proper place to dispose of them. Since UMass is implementing this rule though, I do hope that it allows students and faculty to ween themselves off of smoking or at least be able to reduce the amount of cigarettes they smoke per day as well as increase the amount of time they spend between cigarettes. Hopefully it will also allow the UMass community to reconsider the health risks that are inevitable for smokers.


    Lindsey Dugas (1)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do not think that the smoking ban will have any effect on those whom already smoke. Shortly after the email about the smoking ban going into effect there was a second email sent out which stated that the smoking ban would not be enforced in any way but people were asked to politely conform. There are already bans about smoking for example people are not supposed to smoke a certain distance from a building, yet whenever I go to stores people are smoking right by the doors.
    (Tonya Sulham)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do agree that this smoking ban may not have a major effect on campus. People ignore the "no smoking within 20 feet of building" smoking rule right now. To ask people to completely stop smoking on campus can be seen as an extreme just because campus is so large.

      Kimberly Ty (3)

      Delete
  7. Angeline Latsch (2)April 12, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    I do not believe the smoking ban will prevent people from smoking on campus or encourage students who smoke to quit. I have a real issue with UMass thinking they can prevent students from smoking in their cars while driving down the roads-to me that is a huge invasion of privacy!

    ReplyDelete
  8. When I first heard of the smoking ban a professor told me that they were going to try to enforce in in the first couple of months. He said that for those caught smoking on campus they would receive a temporary mark on their record and endure a punishment as if one had committed academic dishonesty. I'm not sure about the policy now but if I were a smoker who was already under academic probation or something like it, this would definitely encourage me to not smoke on campus to prevent another mark on my record.
    Posted by Celina Keating (3)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hopefully the campus-wide ban will make asking someone to move away from the building or high-traffic area less of a debate. It's annoying to see people move 10 feet in front of the doorway, where everyone is forced to walk anyway, and cause everyone to breath in their fumes.

    Now, if someone is forcing their decision to smoke on to you, it is within reason and polite to ask them to move somewhere else without getting caught in a pointless debate about estimated distance from the building (since they should not be smoking on campus anyway).

    The argument concerning cars passing through campus is interesting but pretty inconsequential. Since the rule is not being enforced, UMass has avoided the debate of whether the air around and inside your car is University property...despite the car being on a public road. I imagine that would get pretty messy and confusing.

    Joseph Starrett(3)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think as long as people are a reasonable distance from building entrances it shouldn't matter. If nobody is enforcing it, then will people really abide?

    People will always smoke, and I don't think a ban is really a good way to deal with it, maybe making people more aware of the health risks. There will always be smokers though, but putting a ban just seems to be a way of restricting a right.

    Everybody on campus is of age to decide if they want to smoke or not, so leave it up to the consumer to decide.

    ReplyDelete