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  • UMass-Amherst prepares students for campus-wide tobacco ban

    3/19/2013 3:32:17 PM Posted by Adam Tragone

    SmokingCigaretteIn April 2011, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Faculty Senate passed a resolution that would ban using tobacco and tobacco-related products on campus, starting on July 1, 2013. The students were outraged and rightfully so. The ban is so invasive that it even extends to using tobacco products inside a vehicle on campus.

    To be more exact, the university sent out an e-mail outlining some specifics regarding the ban:

    (1) The use of tobacco will be prohibited in all buildings and vehicles owned or leased by UMass Amherst, regardless of location.
    (2) The use of tobacco will also be prohibited on all University grounds and in any outdoor area controlled by the University.  This includes all University land, parking lots and parking ramps, athletic fields, tennis courts, and recreational areas.
    (3) The use of tobacco will be prohibited inside any vehicle located on University grounds.
    (4) When any person enters the grounds of the University, any smoking material shall be extinguished and disposed of in an appropriate receptacle at the perimeter of the grounds of the University.

    "When I first heard about (the tobacco ban) I thought they were joking because it seems pretty widespread, the number of people who smoke on campus," Vitulli said. "I do not think it should be an issue of whether it is good or bad for you, it is your right to smoke outside," freshman Nick Vitulli told the Massachusetts Daily Collegian earlier this month. 

    More from the Daily Collegian article:

               Wilmore C. Webley, who has been leading the campaign to make the campus smoke-free, said he polled students and 78 percent favor a smoke-free campus. He is a member of the health council and teaches a class called "Biology of Cancer and AIDS," and has repeatedly conducted smoking surveys among students.   

        The campus banned smoking in buildings 26 years ago. 

    Smokers now must be 20 feet away from a building to smoke, but some say that's hard to enforce. The new policy will ban all tobacco products, and would apply to anyone coming on campus, including staff, faculty, contractors and visitors. It would include parking lots and athletic events. The policy is similar to policies that have been adopted at more than 466 colleges and universities across the country, including at the universities of Florida, Kentucky, Oregon and Michigan. 

    Talk about overreach! Whatever you think about cigarettes, good or bad, does it seem right to change the already established rules? If you don't like smoking, you won't smoke and try to avoid as much contact as possible. Just give people the opportunity to decide for themselves.

    What do you think of this ban? What would you do if it was your school?


    • Readers' Comments

    • Texas State University put this practice into place over a year ago. People still smoke all the time.
      Posted by Will on 03/19/2013
    • I don't care if people smoke; I just don't want to smell it. I wish smokers would be more aware that they stink, and their smoke stinks, and that it's not a bit pleasant for other people to be standing anywhere near them while they smoke. They even stink outside, unless there's a breeze blowing the other direction.
      Posted by Deacon John Saturus on 03/19/2013
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    • Ciggarettes are legal to buy and should be legal to smoke. There is no better place to smoke then outside and by taking away that right whether in a university or in a local park it is wrong. We pay to go to universities and therefore should be allowed to smoke outside where it was previously a designated smoking area. I used to attend Umass and was not a smoker during that time and I could care less where people smoke as long as it is not in my face or my home. If people have such a problem with tobacco and where people choose to smoke them freely, OUTSIDE, in the open air, breeze or not, then take it up with the tobacco companies and help tobacco be banned. As long as tobacco is sold freely in stores then people should be allowed to smoke then freely outside.
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