Acadia University in Wolfville, NS has a smoke free campus policy that I would love to see implemented at ALL schools across Canada. There is no smoking tolerated within the campus (campus police enforced with a fine) but there are many areas just on the perimeter of the campus that are designated smoking areas. These areas are away from many of the buildings and have cigarette receptacles that are emptied on a regular basis. Now, I am not a smoker myself, but I do know many people who do smoke and I’m sure that they would not be very happy with this idea, but I think that it would be a great step in the right direction towards eliminating some of the second hand smoke that most non smokers are subjected to on a regular basis. Walking through campus can be great, but it can also leave students at UPEI smelling like and breathing in second hand smoke. Second hand smoke has been proven on many occasions to be very dangerous to those who are exposed, and why should those of us who choose not to smoke be exposed to it without a choice? This is an age-old question that keeps coming up more and more as the research delves deeper into the health risks associated with exposure to second hand smoke.
As a student, the library is like my second home, and both entrances are often full of smokers who leave their garbage (cigarette packages, coffee cups, etc…) and cigarette butts all over the ground for someone else to step over and often pickup when there is too much build up. Not to mention, I also have to walk through a cloud of smoke to even reach the door. The library isn’t the only place where smokers tend to congregate around UPEI, as there are also many areas around campus that smokers “hang out” at that are common pathways for students trying to get to class.
Now, if you were to walk around campus, you many notice signs around the doors of some buildings that say “No Smoking within 30 feet of the door”, but often times these signs are ripped down or just completely ignored by students and staff alike.
I would really like to bring this issue up with my student council and administrators at UPEI, but I fear the reaction and outcry that many students and staff will have.
Ideally, Acadia University should be a model for all schools in Canada. They are protecting those of us who chose not to smoke but also allowing those who do smoke the opportunity to feel as though they are still a part of the school and are really no different from those who don’t smoke. They have also made this an opportunity to beautify their campus as it reduces the amount of cigarette related garbage that is found on the ground.
So, my questions for you are: 1) Is your school(public or university) or workplace smoke free? If so, how is it enforced, and 2) If it isn’t smoke free, is this something that you would like to see happen?
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Picture from here: http://www.allstatesign.com/smoke-free-campus.html