Campus could soon become tobacco-free

Cigarette smokers may find themselves without a place to smoke on campus come next semester, according to the final report from the UVM Tobacco-Free Steering Committee.

The committee has been analyzing tobacco use on UVM’s campus, as well as reviewing the pros and cons for implementing a tobacco-free policy. The steering committee is co-chaired by Dr. Jan Carney, professor of medicine, and Thomas Gustafson, vice president of University Relations and Administration, according to a recent email from President Tom Sullivan.

The steering committee submitted its final report for review and approval. The report recommends the implementation of a tobacco ban that will begin August 1, 2015. Sullivan invited members of the UVM community to express their comments and concerns on the report by June 1.

Some students  disagree with the potential  tobacco ban.

“I honestly don’t see how a smoking ban can work,” sophomore Drew Cooper said. “From the side of the university, I get why they want to ban smoking cigarettes in terms of maintaining the liberal, drug free, eco-friendly image they’ve built up.” However, Cooper said he thinks students should have the right to smoke if they want to.

Some UVM students have also expressed disdain for the new policy. “It’s absolutely ridiculous that I can die for my country now, but I can’t light up a cigarette after staying up all night studying,” sophomore Kelly Costello said.

Others support the smoking ban. “Personally, I’m for the tobacco-free health initiative if it will deter people from smoking,” junior Alex Lockhart said. “It’s an unfortunate habit to start in college that can last a lifetime,” he said. “However, I don’t think banning tobacco on campus will stop students from smoking and enforcing it will be difficult because too many people smoke already.”

The steering committee will continue to meet following the implementation of the policy. Necessary changes will be made following an evaluation of the tobacco ban, according to Sullivan’s email.