On September 30th, Provost Paul Forestell issued a memo via e-mail reminding students, faculty and staff members about Post’s non-smoking policy. The policy prohibits the use and carrying of any smoking paraphernalia inside any building on campus. However, the policy has prompted a very valid question; should smoking on campus be banned?
Assistant Provost, Amy Urquhart said, via e-mail, “The campus smoking policy is in compliance with the Nassau County Ordinance. All of our buildings are smoke-free, according to law, which states smoking inside in public, or at any workplace, is prohibited.”
Senior History major, Ashley Ingleton, thinks smoking on campus should be banned, “I think that would be a good idea because the smoking on campus has really got out of hand. It is a nightmare for people like me who have a history of asthma, to have to deal with clouds of smoke on this campus.”
However, Junior Broadcasting major, Stephanie J., doesn’t mind the smoking on campus. She said “If I lived on campus, I would say smoking should be permitted in smoking areas. However since I don’t live on campus, it does not matter to me because I can do it off campus.”
One compromise for the members of Post who smoke, and those who don’t, would be to have specific “smoke areas” on campus. However, Urquhart said, “C.W. Post does not maintain any exterior areas designated as smoke areas.” Ingleton doesn’t agree with having any designated smoke areas on campus, “It will not solve the overall issue of the smoking problem on campus. Designated areas would just be a “short cut” solution to the problem.” However, Stephanie thinks there should be smoke areas on campus, “Those who do not smoke won’t be exposed, and those who do, will be happy.”
According to No-smoke.org, created by the organization ‘Americans for non-smokers’ rights,’ which is the leading national lobbying organization dedicated to non-smokers’ rights as of July 1, 2011, there were over five hundred completely smoke-free college campuses nationwide. A search of the partial list of campuses that have enacted the smoke-free policy, revealed that the State of New York has at least 33 campuses that have done so.
While C.W. Post isn’t a smoke-free campus, and is not on the list, the non-smoking policy in buildings at Post is beneficial. The policy protects Post members who don’t smoke, without completely stripping them of their right to smoke if they want to. Even though many of us can agree that smoking is an environmental and health hazard, deciding to smoke or not is an individual choice we all have to respect, and for now, Post allows us to make that choice for ourselves.