Smoking-Vaping on Campus 3. Photo by Manuel Buitrago
Snow College has been in the process of becoming completely smoke and vape free for the past two years. After a long wait the policy was passed on March 18th.
In the fall semester of 2020, about 800 Snow College students took a survey concerning smoking and vaping. One of the questions asked if they think the college should be smoke/vape free. With the neutral answers being split evenly between yes and no, 81% of the students said yes, and 19% said no.
In the comments of the question numerous students stated that while they themselves don’t smoke, they wish for smokers/vapers to not feel discriminated against on-campus.
However, Rachelle Holbrook, the proventionalist specialist here at Snow, says that the goal of this policy isn’t to exclude or discriminate, but to help provide awareness to the issue and to prevent new people from becoming addicted.
Rachelle Holbrook stated her concern, “So many college students stay up all night the first night of college just because they can. How many of them are going to try this because ‘mom and dad wouldn’t let me?’….Most smokers or vapers start before the age of 26. These companies are targeting college age students.”
This policy may help prevent college students from being exposed to the pressure of trying smoking or vaping, but how will this policy affect those who already smoke?
Elif, a student here at Snow who smokes said: “We have rules regarding smoking, we cannot smoke inside the building and we have to be 25 feet from the building… Smoking is a choice, a bad habit, or an addiction. However, the respect shown to non-smokers should also be shown to smokers.”
Even though the policy has been passed, it will take time for it to go into effect as authorities figure out the best way to educate our campuses about the policy and the “why” behind it.