A new smoking policy at Elon University will be put into action this fall. Instead of prohibiting smoking 30 feet from all building entrances, the new policy expands restricted space to include 30 feet from the perimeter of all buildings.
As the policy significantly impacts and minimizes smoking spaces on campus, student input will be highly valuable in finding ways to advertise the new policy, said Jordan Perry, coordinator for student development and substance education.
“We really just want to know what is going to be most comfortable for students,” Perry said. “We have to balance the needs of smokers, as well as non-smokers.”
While the old policy was not specifically enforced, surveys of students, faculty and staff members indicated the policy was not well-known. This time, Perry will be working largely with the SPARKS peer educators to develop digital signboards and other media to make students aware of the policy.
Landscapers are currently assessing smokers’ needs on campus by identifying smoking destinations so cigarette urns can be placed in effective places.
“If we just move all of the smoking areas to one location and no one really knows about it, it probably wont be used,” Perry said. “That creates an additional burden on maintenance people. We want something that’s going to be used if we’re going to spend time and money on a smoking area.”
Milton Edmond, an ARAMARK employee, said he had not heard of the new smoking policy and thinks it is excessive. Edmond is a smoker and said the new restrictions will make it challenging for him and other staff members to take a cigarette break.
“I think it’s crazy,” he said. “Thirty feet, that’s almost smoking on the side of the road.”
Further action to restrict smoking on campus makes Edmond wonder what the next step may be for the university, he said.
“To me, it’s not just freedom,” he said. “I just ask myself, what’s next? No smoking, period? You’d have a lot of mad people.”
Freshmen Chelsea Lopez and John Sisson, on the other hand, agree with the policy.
“I totally agree with that,” Lopez said. “I got my tonsils out Friday and I can’t be around smoke. I think they should change it to no smoking on campus, I hate smoking.”
Sisson agreed smoking is detrimental but said he did not think Elon would ever be smoke-free.
Elon is currently not on track to be a smoke and tobacco-free campus, Perry said, but smoking cessation classes have been available for faculty and staff members and may also be available for students in the near future.