Smoke-free policy leads to student discussion

Kansas State University will ban smoking on campus beginning June 1, 2018. (Photo Illustration by Olivia Bergmieer | Collegian Media Group)

After committing to a smoke-free campus, some Kansas State students said they still have questions about how the policy will be enforced. The policy, which is slated to go into affect June 1, will ban the use of smoking products on university grounds.

Marisa Rodriguez, freshman in nutritional sciences, said she feels the idea of a smoke-free campus is a good one, but said she’s skeptical about how much the policy will actually change campus because enforcement of the policy would be difficult.

“I think it’ll be a good advancement to our health, but smoking is like drinking. You can put a ban on it, but that doesn’t mean people will stop,” Rodriguez said.

Akansha Singh, sophomore in biology, said while she realizes people don’t want to be inhaling smoke while walking to class, she said she thinks the university could designate specific smoking areas on campus.

“They can assign places where smokers can smoke so the people who don’t want to inhale that air stay away from there, so everyone’s happy,” Singh said. “The new policy is bothering so many people, it’s a lot of wasted time in my opinion, walking around just to try to find a place to smoke.”

Caroline Fuss, junior in political science and former health and wellness director for the Student Governing Association, was involved in the process of making the campus smoke-free.

Fuss said the momentum for a smoke-free campus started about two years ago and gained support from health organizations, environmental organizations and SGA as time progressed.

“This is just another way K-State is trying to promote a healthy lifestyle for people on campus,” Fuss said.

Fuss also stressed that a lot of other campuses across Kansas have already moved to smoke-free policies and that a lot of the feedback of the pending policy has been mostly positive.

In the discussions leading up to a decision smoke-free policy, Fuss said there was discussion of a designated area for smoking on campus, but in the end, that option was decided against.

We felt that for the policy to be the most effective, and for students to see the most positive results, that it would be beneficial for the campus to go entirely smoke-free,” Fuss said.

In addition to the smoking ban, Lafene Health Center will also revamp its cessation program in hopes of making a positive change in the health of K-State students.