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Campus Tobacco Ban

National Institutes of Health

Stephanie Rietz, Reporter

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Smoking cigarettes is something that is a part of our lives from the very beginning. We see others doing it, ads for cigarettes are on television and billboards, and we are told by many people throughout our lives not to do it because it is bad for us. Now, more places are banning smoking, and more laws are being made against it.

As of this fall, Northeast Community College (NECC) will be following the lead of many others and banning tobacco use campus-wide. Many people were involved in the making of this decision, including the college nurse, Gretchen Hupp. During a recent interview, Ms. Hupp stated that the new ban will “help improve the health of all those on campus, and help to develop a community of respect towards others and the environment.”

There are many specifics to the new ban. It is campus-wide, meaning no tobacco products anywhere on the property of NECC, including the parking lots; it extends to non-students and visitors as well; and it is for all tobacco products including electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco. This policy is not being enacted lightly, with much time and deliberation put into many factors on both sides of the argument. The decision was eventually made based on many deciding points including: the dangers of secondhand smoke, carcinogens and toxins polluting the air, lack of FDA testing for the electronic cigarettes, and instituting a better health level for all.

Ms. Hupp and the rest of the staff involved in making this decision understand that the transition to the new policy may be difficult for some. “The college is providing “Stop Smoking” classes, and for those who have more difficult time transitioning, they can come talk to me about the possibility of getting gum or patches”, said Ms. Hupp. And for those who would like to comment on this topic, you are welcome to stop by the Viewpoint office or leave a message in our comment box. Also, there is a possibility of getting a comment section on the official Northeast web page.

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One Response to “Campus Tobacco Ban”

  1. Davida on March 11th, 2014 10:04 pm

    Who exactly were the “many” people involved in making this new policy? And what was the process through which this policy was developed? And what if any student involvement/input was involved? Other schools that enact these types of policies included student groups and make it a very active and open campaign and process. Not to mention, a longer process…

    I read the article about tobacco-free campus speaker Ty Patterson’s visit to talk with faculty and staff. The article quotes Patterson as saying “Education about the policy is crucial. Moving quickly leads to non-compliance which saps the will to support the policy.” So over spring break was the first school wide acknowledgement about this policy and in less than 5 months we will have a tobacco free campus. Is that considered a respectful period of education? And what education does the school plan to provide to the student population about how amazing and respectful implementing this policy will make our campus?

    It is intended for the policy to include a ban of any tobacco related products anywhere on your person. Not only in use, but say in your backpack or purse, in your car, anywhere. Anyone else have privacy concerns regarding this type of policy?

    By the way, from my understanding, there is no actual policy currently in place. There is a marketing campaign underway, there is a pt school nurse planning the implementation of the policy, there was a speaker paid to come and motivate cooperation from faculty, but no policy officially exists. Where is the money coming from to pay our nurse to develop and implement policy, to pay for marketing, to pay for motivational speakers for the staff, and to pay for the time of the so “many people involved in developing this policy”? How much is being spent and where is the money coming from to fund this? Seriously, that’s not a rhetorical question… I want to know.

    There are A LOT of questions that beg answering. And I don’t see anyone willing to be honest and upfront with serious questions and concerns. Where are smokers going to go? The only response I have heard is “That’s not my concern.” Have we discussed with the veterans home and the apt complex across the street about this policy? Do they have concerns? Whose concern does it become when there is a fire in a nearby dry field or ditch that someone snuck away to smoke in? How have other campuses addressed such issues? Especially other campuses in a similarly rural setting?

    I am not a smoker. I am not even against a non-smoking campus, in theory. But let’s be clear, this has NOT been about building a respectful community. This is a top-down policy that has been decided and is being implemented before officially existing as a policy. Operating under the radar in order to shut down dialogue is NOT how a respectful community operates.

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Campus Tobacco Ban