Students weigh in on smoking ban

by Anessia Hubler

Sun Star

 

The decision on whether a smoking ban will be implemented will be made Dec. 12 by the Board of Regents. If the ban is passed, it will be effective in Fall 2015.

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A student smokes right outside the doors of the MBS complex. Under the current rules, students need to be a minimum of 50 feet away, which will change if the smoking ban is passed. – Chris Hawk / Sun Star

“If the ban goes through, it will have great effects on not only the students, but everyone else that steps foot on to UAF campus,” Eli Barry-Garland of the Fresh Air Committee said.

According to the newest draft of the ban, no smoking of a burning substance will be allowed on campus. This could cause a number of problems, one being for the theater department.

“Just this week I used a fake cigarette in the show I’m making,” senior film student Shawn Weixelman said.

Another problem is that there is no plan to actively enforce the ban.

“What I see happening is that this ban is going to pass but none of the students will follow it, like they don’t follow the 50 feet away from buildings law right now,” Barry-Garland said.

This can cause some major problems because if the ban is passed, all the ashtrays will be removed from UAF campus. With nowhere to put their used cigarettes students will most likely either leave them on the ground producing more litter, or they will throw them in a trash can, which might start a fire by accident.

According to the newest update on the ban, students are allowed to smoke cigarettes if the are in their vehicles. Most students on campus don’t have vehicles or if they do they will not want to ruin them will the smell of smoke.

“If they smoke in their car they will have to open the door at some point and let all the smoke out,” Barry-Garland said.

Also by smoking within a small enclosed space such as a car, the smoke could cause even more health issues to the student that is smoking.

According to the Nov. 26 student government poll concerning the issue, 47 percent disagreed with the ban, 42 percent agreed and 11 percent  were neutral out of 208 students voting.

“I think we should compromise with the people that are for and against the ban,” said ASUAF President Mathew Carrick.

One compromise would be to make certain places around campus designated for smoking while the rest of campus remains a non-smoking area.

“We should build smoking huts because that would make most people happy, but with all the recent budget cuts, that will never happen,” Barry-Garland said.

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