Idaho State University has opted for a smoke free campus for three years now, but is the policy really holding up to its fullest potential?
The ISU smoking policy states, “Smoking is prohibited on all property wholly owned, leased or operated by Idaho State University. This consists of all buildings, including residence halls, all grounds, including exterior open spaces, parking lots, on-campus sidewalks, University-owned streets, driveways, athletic and practice facilities and recreational spaces; and in all University-owned or leased vehicles.”
“I think it’s a good idea, but I don’t think people follow it at all, I see people smoking on campus every day. I think no one takes it seriously,” said Victoria Armstrong, a double major in sociology and exercise science.
ISU has the most health professions offered at a university in Idaho and the purpose of a smoke free campus is to promote health and wellness. Administered not only to promote a clean environment, the smoking ban could potentially help students and faculty quit smoking altogether.
But there is no guarantee instituting a no smoking ban will return more non-smokers to the campus.
“No, the ban does not help people quit smoking. This is an addiction and a ban in one area of your life will not be the reason you choose to quit. It’s a personal decision and is not easy to achieve,” said Nicholl Morgan, an ISU student currently in the respiratory therapy program who recovered from a smoking addiction.
Students are seen smoking on all areas of campus despite the effort from ISU to put up the smoke free campus signs.
“Sometimes I smoke, actually, on the campus I sneak between the buildings, but sometimes you have a really poor argument with people claiming that smoking is prohibited,” said an engineering student from Saudi Arabia who asked to remain anonymous.
Those who choose to smoke on campus haven’t yet been severely reprimanded, and there is no significant repercussion for those who are caught.
Students and staff are encouraged to confront people not adhering to the policy.
If public safety is involved, a citation is possible, although there is no fine attached, whomever is cited will have to report to the appropriate authority; administration for students, supervisors for faculty and the hired company for construction workers.
Kailee Hansen, who is pursuing her associates in applied science and a bachelor’s in photography, stepped right outside a building only to smoke part of a cigarette. She ended up next to a smoking ban sign, and according to Hansen a public safety officer just looked at her and said “really,” then pointed out the sign to the left of her with a warning.
“At the College of Tech building we just go stand on the sidewalk, it’s still technically ISU property but we smoke and then throw our cigarette butts in a trash can by the building,” said Hansen.
Boise State University revised the smoking policy at its campus; as of March 2015 anyone caught smoking on the BSU campus will receive a $15 dollar citation.
ISU has not agreed to fine people who are smoking, but perhaps a fine could be the solution to delinquent smokers.
“I feel like that is a bad idea, I think that is pushing it a little too far, but maybe a better idea would be to remind students instead of being so aggressive about it,” said Armstrong.
Some people who smoke are going to do it regardless of the policy put in place or the fines that occur.
“If ISU started to fine, they would make money so in their eyes that would be good but I’m sure it would upset a lot of people and the situation can be resolved by designating areas to smoke, then maybe fine for smoking outside of them,” said Morgan.
Students, non-smoker and smoker alike, have expressed a positive solution to the smoking ban could be a revised policy, designating an area for people to smoke, it prevents second hand smoke and gives them a place to smoke.
“I think it’s a good idea to have designated smoking areas, as long as they’re away from me I don’t care. I care when they’re in my face, and if I am walking by and they blow smoke in my face or in my hair it grosses me out really bad,” said Armstrong.