Smoking policy change good for our campus

ULM Hawkeye

The new tobacco policy is a bold step toward a better ULM campus. Better health, a cleaner campus and better learning environments will all be results of the new policy.

We understand what a major inconvenience the new policy will be for smokers, but the policy is a good thing for the vast majority of people on campus. Many people are allergic to cigarette smoke. So when they walk past a smoker, they have a reaction. When they are sitting in class and a smoker comes in after having just smoked outside, they have a reaction.

Students deserve as little distractions as possible when trying to learn. When smokers light up right before they go into class, that smell lingers throughout the class period. For people who don’t smoke, they notice that smell, and it bothers a lot of them.

When it rains, people shouldn’t have to smell cigarette smoke under every awning and in every stairwell. ULM isn’t a bar; it’s a university full of people who deserve better than to smell like smoke when they choose not to smoke.

Similarly, students deserve a campus that isn’t littered with cigarette butts. It’s unattractive, bad for the environment and gives a very negative connotation of who we are when others come to visit. We’ve taken great strides to make our campus a beautiful place, and cigarette butts scattered everywhere undo a lot of that work.

Of course, health aspects play a role in the policy. People on campus won’t be subjected to secondhand smoke. They won’t have allergic reactions. Perhaps the inconvenience will encourage smokers to quit because they’ll decide it’s just not worth it.

Smokers can still feed their addiction in their cars or areas on the east side of campus. The rest of us won’t have to deal with it,  though.

It’s encouraging the University took such a strong position on tobacco use. The policy shows a commitment to the well-being of all students, faculty and staff.