On Monday, City University of New York forbade smoking entirely on all their campuses. They joined at least 466 other campuses in this endeavor.

Nationwide, universities are working to promote healthier student lifestyles.

College life has often been connected with harmful behavior like smoking, excessive drinking and drug abuse. Authorities hope that the ban will discourage students who smoke from continuing to do so. It is also intended to decrease the amount of second-hand smoke on their campuses.

On CUNY’s campus 15 percent of both faculty and students, reportedly smoke tobacco. Their School of Public Health initiated the ban for all of CUNY’s 23 campuses to enact the restriction by the start of the Fall 2012 semester.

Additional motivation for the prohibition is the desire to keep the campus cleaner because no smoking means no cigarette butts littering the school environment.

The issue is still very divided on the Fairfield campus.

“Smoking should not be permitted,” said one student who is a smoker. “A ban serves as an incentive for smokers to quit, keeps the air clean for those who don’t and supports good health in general.” Others disagree with this view. Elizabeth DeSiena, ’11, who does not smoke herself, understands why some students wish to retain their right to do so.

“Smoking tobacco is not illegal in this country. There is no reason why smoking should be forbidden,” she asserted. “I know many more people who engage in underage drinking – which is still against the law – than smoke cigarettes.”

Fairfield has reached out to students and others in the Fairfield community in an attempt to encourage smokers to drop the habit. St. Vincent’s Swim Across the Sound program offered smoking cessation classes, however, not a single student took one. Human Resources presented the very same program to employees.

“With the exception of minor problems that I’ve heard about regarding smoking outside entrances to residence halls and general buildings, the smoking issue has been low key,” said James Fitzpatrick, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.

Currently, the majority of students at Fairfield do not smoke regularly. The only university restriction on smoking is the requirement that smokers remain 30 feet away from each building.

Fitzpatrick said, “My initial reaction is that we have many more pressing issues to deal with than the question of a total smoking ban.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.