Students continue smoking despite Georgia Board of Regents smoking ban

By ANTOINE RICHARDS

Ban of Tobacco Products 

New "Smoke-Free Tobacco-Free University" signs on Kennesaw State University Campus. Photo by Antoine Richards.
New “Smoke-Free Tobacco-Free University” signs on Kennesaw State University Campus.
Photo by Antoine Richards.

The policy went into effect on Oct. 1, 2014 and is applicable to all employees, students, contractors, and sub-contractors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Kennesaw State University, which allowed smoking on-campus in designated smoking areas, adhered completely to the policy officially banning tobacco products on campus grounds. The new policy brought about a swift change of designated smoking area signs to “Smoke-Free Tobacco-Free University” signs that emphasizes the prohibition of all tobacco products on university property. The decision to ban tobacco products fostered mixed reviews across the campus, especially within the student population and despite the new policy, students still continue to smoke in those previous designated smoking areas without reprimand.

The new policy has a strict set of guidelines and regulations geared toward smoking cessation on campus.
Important Policies and Guidelines 

  1. Ban of all tobacco products on campus including cigarettes, pipes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and form of simulate such as e-cigarettes.
  2. Prohibition includes but is not limited to all areas indoors and outdoors, buildings and parking lots owned, leased, rented or otherwise used by the USG or its affiliates. The use of tobacco products is prohibited in all vehicles – private or public vehicles – located on USG properties.
  3. This policy applies to all persons who enter the areas described above, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, contractors and subcontractors, spectators, and visitors. All events hosted by a USG entity shall be tobacco-free. All events hosted by outside groups on behalf of the USG shall also be tobacco-free.

Mixed reviews ensued especially the issue of smoking in cars on campus since cars are considered personal property. Jake Pledger, news and media lead for KSU Owl Radio, and line item officer for the Student Government Association,

extensive research and reviews alongside the Owl Radio TV team. The report was quite astonishing.

Campus Outreach/Smoking on Campus

As the campus was surveyed, some students concurred with policy and a healthier lifestyle change on campus. These students were not advocates of smelling smoke, nor did they want to risk their health.

Owl TV news anchor and KSU senior, Sirraya Billings said, “The policy is a great idea. As Kennesaw State University and the University System of Georgia strive to create young professionals and educated young adults, everything that is done should be the epitome of professionalism and allowing smoking compromises the social, health-related, and professional aspect of the student and faculty population while putting others at risk for serious illness.”
While those students are pro-cessation, this policy change will not be effective without proper enforcement of the policy, which is the underlying issue behind the consistent abuse of the policy since its implementation. There was broad feedback on the issue among the pro-smoking population, and a variety of opinions on why some students refuse to stop smoking on campus. Some students went as far as to express that they felt the decision was a wrong-doing of the Board of Regents and the campus as a whole, saying the policy takes away their rights as an individual.
When asked why students continue to smoke on campus, John Pledger said, “There is no real enforcement of the policy.” He went on to state that he believes Jan. 1, 2015, will be when the policy goes into full effect, but as of now there are no fines that have been talked about or no real penalty.
To view Pledger’s full news segment on the campus’s reaction to the smoking plan please visit the KSU Owl Radio TV’s video “Kennesaw State Becomes a Smoke/Tobacco Free Campus” here: KSU Owl Radio TV: “Kennesaw State Becomes a Smoke/Tobacco Free Campus”.

Tips For A Smoke-Free Lifestyle

Here are thirteen tips towards smoking cessation:
1. Know Why You Want To Stop – Find a reason to stop larger than your reason to light up.
2. Don’t Go Cold Turkey – The brain is used to having nicotine and craves it causing withdrawals. Slowly reduce intake until cessation occurs.
3. Try Nicotine Replacement – Nicotine gum, or Nicotine patches.
4. Ask Doctor about Prescription Pills
5. Don’t Do It Alone – Tell family, friends, and peers so everyone can also hold you accountable and help in your advances to stop.
6. Manage Stress – Stress is a huge trigger to smoking, especially in college students. Manage stress to reduce the craving.
7. Avoid Alcohol/Triggers – Find out what triggers your urge to smoke and avoid it, especially alcohol when it comes to social smoking.
8. Clean House – Once you’ve decided you’ve had your last cigarette, extensively clean up your car, house, etc. to rid that smell and vow to not mess it up again. Fresh start.
9. Never Give Up – If you don’t succeed, try and try again.
10. Get Moving – Stay active, exercise. Active bodies and minds release endorphins that have an overall positive body feeling.
11. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables – Studies show they make cigarettes taste terrible helping to avoid the urge.
12. Reward Yourself – Reward yourself for positive outcomes.
13. Do It For Your Health – If for nothing else more important, do it for yourself and your health. You decrease the chances of so many different illnesses.
Smoking cessation is imperative for future and better lifestyle. Many people understand the negative impact that smoking has on our life and what second-hand smoking causes on the lives of others. This is a key factor in the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents banning all tobacco products including electric hookahs and cigarettes on their campuses.

 

 

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