Campus-wide tobacco ban proposed

Josh Dunn | Contributing Writer
From Print | Legacy

Lindenwood prides itself in providing world class education and state of the art technology. When it comes to campus wide smoking and tobacco bans, however, Lindenwood has yet to follow in a local trend.

According to information provided by faculty council member Joseph Lovell, nine of the 14 schools near Lindenwood are 100 percent smoke free. Four are 100 percent tobacco free.

While Webster University, McKendree University and Truman University do not have any bans in place, St. Charles Community College and Washington University are among those with both smoking and tobacco bans. Other universities such as Fontbonne and University of St. Louis Missouri only have smoking bans.

According to Lovell the potential ban is important for well-rounded health.

“Part of our mission at Lindenwood is to educate the whole person,” said Lovell. “We do not have any specific general education courses pertaining to health here. Smoking is one aspect of health. Since smoking has been linked to many diseases there is a cause for concern. I am behind other institutions in going smoke or tobacco free.”

The burning question still remains how a smoking and/or tobacco ban would affect students. According to 2013 survey results provided by Lovell involving 1,546 students and 144 faculty members, 80 percent reported being non-smokers. Of the remaining 20 percent of tobacco users, 71.3 percent reported that when using tobacco, a cigarette was most commonly used. The survey also found that 53 percent of the participants support the proposed ban while 24 percent were opposed. LU students have mixed opinions and thoughts.

Senior Haleigh Lillard occasionally uses smokeless tobacco, commonly known as dip.

“I’m fine with restricted smoking areas and not letting people dip in class, but saying (students) can’t do it at all is pushing their (Lindenwood’s) power too far,” said Lillard.

Will Cox, a smoker and junior, doesn’t consider the proposed ban a big deal.

“I’m a smoker but I understand that a smoking ban would make campus healthier and there are people who need it so the ban would not be that big of a deal for me.”

Sarah Milligan, non-smoker and senior, had a different view.

“Personally, I would love it. Being around smoke induces my asthma and could lead to an attack,” said Milligan.

Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that they would gladly welcome a smoking ban, as their asthma is greatly affected by smoke.

Others are concerned by a possible backlash associated with a smoking ban.

“I think there should be a large, properly designated smoking area away from building doors,” said a sophomore

student who wished to remain anonymous. “A full out ban, however, would cause unrest and backlash amongst students.”

While a decision has not been made, Lovell said there is hope to have a policy created by March. However, there is still debate on whether the proposed ban will be a smoking ban or a full tobacco ban and whether or not e-cigarettes will be allowed. Should the ban be approved, cessation programs will be made available to students.

First published : 2/18/14