If a cigarette’s in hand, there’s a 25-foot ban
The Student Government Association (SGA) is currently working on a campaign to remind Seton Hall students that smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of all buildings on campus.
SGA Student Life Chairwoman Elianni De La Cruz, a sophomore economics major, was asked by John Signorello, associate vice president of Facilities Engineering and Office of Business Affairs, to speak at the SGA meeting on Feb. 8 about the smoking issue on campus.
In an email interview De La Cruz said that the policy cannot be enforced throughout all of the campus buildings because of the amount of manpower that would be required from Public Safety. She added that residence halls can enforce the policy.
Across the country universities are enforcing smoke-free or tobacco-free policies.
A 2012 survey by Monitoring the Future found that among Americans between the ages of 18 to 25, 31.8 percent used cigarettes in the previous month, 10.7 percent used cigars, 5.5 per
cent used smokeless tobacco and 1.8 percent used pipe tobacco, according to LiveStrong.com in a December 2015 article.
Smoking is declining among college students, according to livestrong.com. 18 to 19 percent of college students smoked daily from 1980 to 1999. From 2000 to 2012 this percentage of students fell to 5 percent, according to the article.
Seton Hall’s campus smoking policy states: “Smoking is prohibited in all indoor workplaces and places of public access. This includes all academic, residential and administrative buildings, athletic sporting facilities, spectator areas at outdoor events, and dining facilities. Smoking is also prohibited in all University-owned vehicles, shuttle buses, and vans,” according to the SHU website.
Signorello said in an email interview that SGA has been asked to, “communicate with students about respecting those distances and asking for students who do smoke, to use ashtray receptacles on campus for cigarette butts.”
The 25 foot policy is a recommended distance used in regulatory guidelines, Signorello said. The distance will vary based on locations of windows, doors and building air intakes, he added.
Marcus Raman, a junior business management major, is in favor of the 25 foot ban. Raman said that developing a smoking habit early on in life can be harmful to a person’s health and if the 25 foot policy deters students from smoking then the policy is good. Raman said that the ban would lead to a healthier campus environment.
Patrick Barron, a sophomore double major in history and economics and SGA College of Arts and Sciences senator, said that people should have the freedom to smoke, but should be con
scious of non-smokers.
“It is not fair to those who don’t want to get second hand smoke,” Barron said, regarding students who smoke too close to buildings.
Other universities, including Rutgers, also have policies prohibiting smoking inside buildings and dorms on campuses. Rutgers bans smoking within 30 feet of buildings, according to its website.
De La Cruz said that the SGA does not expect to spend any money on the smoking awareness campaign.
Samantha Todd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org