We’ve all walked through a cloud of smoke on our way to class at one time or another. As most students already know, Radford University is not a smoke-free campus. Students are allowed to smoke outside on campus as long as they are 25 feet away from buildings. However, some students still smoke relatively close to buildings.
This week, we asked students whether they knew what a smoke-free campus was (a campus where the use of all tobacco products is prohibited) and whether they thought Radford should be a smoke-free campus. The majority of students we talked to expressed annoyance at being forced to walk through others’ smoke clouds while on campus. However, they also viewed the issue as something that doesn’t have much of an effect on them otherwise and said they were fine with Radford not banning smoking on campus completely. But other students believed that Radford should be a smoke-free campus or there should be designated areas where smoking is allowed. When asked how the university would enforce this smoke-free policy, some students were unsure. But others had ideas: some said the rules or restrictions could be implemented at Quest so students would know from the start what the policies were. Some said the university should treat cigarettes the same way as alcohol—that is, taking tobacco products from students if they are seen using them or charging them a fine.
If Radford does ever become a smoke-free campus, it will be interesting to see how they try and keep it that way. Perhaps they would use some of the tactics that the students we talked to thought of; it would be interesting to see if the ideas work. But one student had a point: “People are going to do what they want to do no matter what, so it doesn’t really matter [what the policies are].”