Smokers have one more year to smoke freely before UNF goes smoke-free

Jake Stofan

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Starting August 2015, UNF will be deemed a smoke-free campus, promoting the regulation to student, faculty, staff, and passing drivers. Photo by Josh Brangenberg

Starting next summer, UNF will be deemed a smoke-free campus. Under the campus-wide ban, all ash receptacles and designated smoking areas will be removed. Photo by Josh Brangenberg

Starting August 1, 2015, UNF will no longer allow smoking on campus under the new regulation called the Smoke-Free Campus Initiative. The new policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, volunteers, contractors, and visitors on campus. Smoking will be prohibited anywhere on campus including in personal vehicles while driving on campus roadways or parked in campus lots.

UNF plans to follow in the footsteps of other Florida colleges that have already adopted similar policies over the past few years. They are joining the smoke-free initiative in an attempt to decrease smoking on campus and promote healthier lifestyles.

“I don’t think [the ban is] a bad idea just because it’s promoting our health,” said freshman smoker Shanara Wilson, “and I have been trying to quit for a long time.”

Junior and former smoker Zach Carter disagreed with the university’s logic saying, “I think it’s dumb for the university to go ahead and ban smoking under the guise of trying to improve our health when they just opened up a Chick-fil-A here.”

Freshman Elisha Celistin said she supports the ban because it’s unfair for nonsmokers to have to smell and breathe in the smoke.

As part of the initiative all designated smoking areas and all ash receptacles will be removed from campus. The university will also implement an educational campaign to promote the regulation, including putting up smoke-free signs around campus.

As of now there will be no formal punishment for smokers who choose not to follow the regulation. “Faculty, staff and students have a collective responsibility to promote the safety and health of the campus community and therefore share in the responsibility of enforcement,” the policy states. “Individuals observed smoking are to be reminded in a professional and respectful manner of the university regulation.”

“I think it’s really cool that they’re not actually going to punish,” freshman and smoker Jose Cisheros said. “It’s just a healthy environment for everybody. It’s just a new attitude and it really speaks good about our university.”

For smokers interested in quitting, the university currently and will continue to provide accessible smoke addiction treatment assistance to faculty, staff, and students.