Smoking Ban said to reduce tobacco use on campus

While the FSU campus is still not 100 percent tobacco free, there is a “dramatic difference” in the number of people smoking and cigarette butts on campus said Dean of Students Melinda Stoops.

The smoking policy, put into effect during the fall of 2013, states FSU “seeks to provide a healthy, comfortable, and productive environment for its students, employees and visitors.”

Stoops said before the ban, the McCarthy Center patio had cigarette butts stuck between all the cracks in the tiles. “It was amazing how much trash would build up from it.”

Before the smoking policy was implemented, there were several designated smoking areas, according to the smoking policy.

Erin Nechipurenko, assistant vice president of Human Resources, was in charge of creating a task force to implement the smoking policy.

From her perspective, the ban has helped to reduce tobacco use, especially around the McCarthy Center, the Whittemore Library and Hemenway Hall.

The Task Force will be sending out a survey in the spring to “access the efficiency of the policy,” according to Nechipurenko.

Because enforcement of the smoking ban is up to the entire campus community, it can be difficult to enforce.

Deputy Chief of Campus Police John Santoro said since the act of smoking is not a criminal act, it is not up to campus police to enforce the smoking ban. Campus police will respond to a smoking complaint, and advise the offender of the tobacco policy.

Kamren Smith, a junior, still smokes on campus.

“One time, [Campus Police] asked me to put my e-cig away,” said Smith. Another time, he was told to put his cigarette away before someone saw it.

Jesse Sannicandro, a junior, said he never got any trouble for smoking on campus. “There were, sometimes, teachers who would say ‘this is a non-smoking campus, can you put that out?’ but usually teachers would just ignore it.”

Sannicandro believes the ban has helped to limit tobacco use on campus. Instead of smoking right outside buildings, and in the middle of foot traffic, he would try to remain out of the way.

“I would get funny looks, because of the smoking ban, and people would be like, ‘This is a non-smoking campus’ to each other,” said Sannicandro.

Melanie Amaral, a freshman, said the smoking ban “helps because of the deterrence factor.”

Clancy McNally, a senior, said, “I don’t think [the smoking ban] was that successful.”

Kelly Barker, a junior, said the smoking ban helped “get it away from entrances, not so much completely off campus.”

Nechipurenko said, “I think people at FSU really care about making this a safe and healthy learning and working environment, which is at the core of this policy.”

If a student wishes to seek help to quit smoking, the Wellness Center offers smoking cessation resources. If an FSU employee needs help quitting, resources are available through the Employee Assistance Program.

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