Students split on ASG tobacco-free resolution

Sophia Bollag, Copy Chief

A resolution that would ban tobacco products on campus brought before the Associated Student Government Senate on Wednesday night has been receiving mixed reactions from students.

(ASG Senate begins school year with introduction of campus tobacco ban)

Olivia Morales said she does not think implementing a tobacco-free policy would make a noticeable difference.

“I don’t think a lot of students on our campus smoke to begin with,” the McCormick junior said. “So making it tobacco free, I don’t think it’s going to make much of a change.”

Jackie Elder, who said she smokes “occasionally,” also opposes a ban.

“I think it’s unnecessary,” the Communication junior said. “Smoking outdoors doesn’t have that big of an effect on the people around. I’m completely for banning smoking inside buildings, but I think it’s a little excessive to ban smoking on an entire campus.”

NU Public Health Club president Carolyn Huang, who wrote the resolution, said she believes banning tobacco products and e-cigarettes would improve campus significantly.

“There are a lot of economic benefits, and then there also obviously are a lot of health benefits as there are no safe levels of second-hand smoke, and now there’s also a concern of third-hand smoke,” the Weinberg senior said. “It’s something that a lot of schools nationally are doing.”

Northwestern would join almost 800 tobacco-free college campuses if it adopts such a policy, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.

A vote on the resolution is scheduled for next week. If it passes, ASG will officially voice its support for the University to adopt a tobacco-free policy.

“Their support … would be a huge step toward making Northwestern a tobacco-free campus,” Huang said.

Huang said she believes the ban would make walking on campus more pleasant and healthful.

“Just from personal experience, having to walk through a cloud of smoke either when you’re leaving a dorm or when you’re leaving the library … it’s unavoidable because you do have to walk those areas,” she said.

Morales suggested that there might be a middle ground.

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have some sort of compromise where there are places to smoke or a rule about not smoking right outside a residence or a campus building. I think that’s acceptable because it is something that bothers other people,” Morales said. “But making it tobacco-free entirely seems kind of unreasonable.”

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