By Mirna Youssef
Smoking is a habit about 42 million Americans have picked up, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. The American Lung Association declares that “85% of current smokers started when they were 21 years of age or younger.” This statistic demonstrates why it’s not so surprising to see college campuses populated with cigarette smokers.
LIU Post’s smoking policy, which is in compliance with the Nassau County Ordinance, is that “No person shall smoke or carry
a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or any other form of smoking object or device in any building on the campus,” according to the LIU Post Memorandum. The memorandum which states this policy can be found on the LIU Post website under the Public Safety tab. The policy further explains that smoking is not permitted in any residence hall on campus, and there should be no smoking in areas within 15 feet of a residence building. The policy also states, “Those found in violation of this law will be subject to disciplinary action and will be reported to their respective supervisors.” The Nassau County Ordinance, according to NassauCountyNY.gov, states, “smoking inside, in public, or at any workplace, is prohibited,” and LIU follows this ordinance since all buildings on campus are smoke-free.
Anti-Smoking activists often make it publicly clear that they are against smoking and find it not only deadly to those who smoke, but also to those exposed to second-hand smoke. There are often students smoking directly outside residence halls and many of the education buildings. Smoking closely to any of these buildings causes the smoke to flow into the buildings, which can cause discomfort to others.
“I don’t think people should be able to smoke cigarettes on campus because they may not think the smoke is affecting anyone when really it is affecting everyone around them with second hand smoke,” said Dylan Silva, a freshman Business major. “LIU should not allow smoking on campus. Some students may feel like they cannot live with the constant smoking that takes place.”
Recently, the University of Georgia system banned smoking on all of its campuses. A New York Times article, written by Alan Blinder on Sept. 28, 2014, stated that, “At the 31 public colleges and universities that make up the University System of Georgia, smoking will be forbidden. The use of chewing tobacco could lead to a penalty.” The Americans Non Smokers’ Rights Foundation reports that, “there are now at least 1,477 100 percent smoke free campuses in the U.S.,” and of those “975 are 100 percent tobacco-free and 291 prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere on campus.” There are 32 college campuses in New York State that have adopted smoke-free policies. As more universities continue to implement bans, it causes other colleges to question whether or not they should do the same. Even though there are several colleges that have adopted smoke-free policies, there are many more that are functioning without such strict restrictions, like LIU Post.
Each day, an “estimated 2,100 youth and young adults who have been occasional smokers become daily cigarette smokers,” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Running into people that smoke is inevitable. Many teenagers and young adults find stress relief in smoking cigarettes. Being a college student means you have to balance assignments, exams, tuition costs, and personal schedules, so it is not surprising that Post students find relief in smoking cigarettes. “As long as people do it outside, I don’t have a problem with it, it’s a pretty big campus and if people responsibly dispose of the cigarettes then they aren’t doing any harm,” said Adam Hornbuckle, a freshman Political Science major.
Due to the fact that cigarettes aren’t banned from the Post campus, it is impossible to restrict people from smoking, but students can be encouraged to clean up by tossing all cigarette butts into the specific trash cans provided all around campus.