Clouds of tobacco smoke are less common on campus now than they were a decade ago.
A 2008 policy change limited smoking on campus to spaces that are at least 100 feet from any campus building or outdoor area controlled by the University. Some of the customary smoking areas are the flagpole in Polk Place and on the bridge outside of Craige Residence Hall.
Randy Young, spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety, said he believes the policy has helped decrease the amount of smoking on campus.
“You’d have to have been around before, when cigarette smoke was much more pervasive in areas of campus,” Young said. “It’s not a population that is heavily into smoking, but there was significantly more smoking prior to the enforcement.”
In terms of enforcing the policy, Young said his department has experienced very little trouble with students.
“If something grows to the level of calling to complain, we’ll assign some patrols, and really that’s been enough to dissuade people,” Young said.
If a student calls in a complaint, the department will respond.
“When we do respond, we go to the area, and people are by and large compliant,” Young said. “They move to other areas.”
The smoking policy has been mostly successful within the residence halls as well, said Katie Bartholomew, an assistant director of conduct and crisis management in the Department of Housing and Residential Education.
“I would not say it is a big issue,” she said. “We receive very few reports of cigarette smoking.”
Bartholomew said the 100-foot policy also applies to the residence halls and includes e-cigarettes, also known as vapor products.
“We would only involve DPS if we felt students weren’t being compliant with the situation,” Bartholomew said. “If (a resident adviser) asks a student to stop smoking and they stop smoking, it wouldn’t be an issue.”
First-year Henry Wrobel said he sometimes smokes in areas outside of the traditional smoking areas. He said he has smoked within 100 feet of a building before, but he has never had a problem with it.
“Nobody’s ever said anything to me about it,” Wrobel said. “If someone with legitimate authority asked me to move, I would.”
Wrobel said he agrees with the school policies. “I think they’re reasonable. I don’t see any reason why not to follow them — I mean, I’m polite,” he said.
DPS has only had to issue citations a couple of times, Young said, and the citations were when the policy was first enforced almost a decade ago.
“Since that time it’s only been warnings, within a facility like a parking deck,” Young said. “We may inspect, but if there’s nothing worth pressing, we move them along, just warn them, educate them.