Students speak out regarding smoke-free campus rules

By KYLE LEAR

All 31 public universities and colleges that comprise the University System of Georgia have recently put a ban on the use of tobacco products on campus, making it against the rules to smoke.

At Kennesaw State University, the new rule was put into effect on Oct.1. The idea is to create a healthier environment for all students across the campus and the state of Georgia. Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and electric cigarettes have all been banned from campuses throughout the state.

Students remain smoking at their usual smoking spots. There is also no signs or KSU police to enforce the new rules. Photo by Kyle Lear.
Students remain smoking at their usual smoking spots. There is also no signs or KSU police to enforce the new rules. Photo by Kyle Lear.

KSU had begun disassembling designated smoke areas earlier, but routine smokers still used the spaces. Students could be seen sitting on the ground where benches used to be.

It is clear that students are spilt on the new rules.

Non-smokers seemed to be happy with the change in hope to make the campus better, while smokers are upset and don’t feel they should be forced to stop.

“It doesn’t seem right that they can tell me if I can or can’t smoke here. I’ve never bothered anyone because I’ve only ever smoked in the designated smoking areas,” said one disgruntled student, taking a quick smoke outside the Social Science building.

When asked about possible tickets or fines that he may face in the future, the student stated, “I doubt that’ll happen”.

Those that support the new rules were just as skeptical about ticketing.

A junior living on campus at KSU, Brauilo Suarez, would like to see some strong enforcement.

“Unless they start handing out tickets, they’ll keep smoking on campus if there are no consequences,” said Suarez.

Although Oct.1 marked the first day of the new rules, enforcement will not begin until Jan. 6, 2015. Tickets will be given to those that still choose to use tobacco products on campus and violations will be tracked.

Non-smoking signs exist around campus to remind students that smoking is prohibited. Photo by Kyle Lear.
Non-smoking signs exist around campus to remind students that smoking is prohibited. Photo by Kyle Lear.

Along with the new rules, KSU has begun a new campaign to promote and educate students about the dangers of smoking and using tobacco products.

The “Breathe Easy” campaign gives information on the university’s new policies and gives help for those that look to quit smoking. More information on the rules and procedures can be found at http://www.kennesaw.edu/smokefree/

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