Why main campus should be tobacco-free

By on February 8, 2017

Over a thousand college campuses in the country are tobacco-free, according to a study done in 2016 by tobaccofreecampus.org, but surprisingly, Mount Carmel campus is not on that list.

North Haven, one of the three Quinnipiac campuses, has been tobacco-free since 2012, but the place where a majority of classes are held and students spend their time isn’t.

Quinnipiac loves to be new and noteworthy, remember our letter lowercasing debacle last semester? So why hasn’t the school gotten on board with this growing trend?

Switching main campus over to a tobacco-free zone would be press-worthy and a great selling point.

With some of the best colleges in the Northeast surrounding us, such as Yale, Sacred Heart and UConn, Quinnipiac loves any and all attention it can get in order to stand out.

In 2015, University of New Haven switched to smoke-free and states on their website, “The policy will apply to all who set foot on the campuses in West Haven and Orange.” This includes all its employees, students, visitors, guests and contractors. They ended the statement with saying they aren’t the first to do this, but certainly don’t want to be the last.

Quinnipiac, do you hear this? We’re falling behind!

Yale, our closest competitor by distance, confirmed their “Tobacco-Free Yale … Let’s Clear the Air” campaign in 2015 and have since made an entire website dedicated to it.

So why haven’t we made the change when so many other campuses, including one of our own, have already taken the initiative?

As it comes to no surprise North Haven is the campus Quinnipiac choose to be tobacco-free. Students don’t dorm on that campus and some may even graduate without stepping foot on the property. I understand that it was easier to choose that campus, but we shouldn’t make decisions based on the easier option.

The purpose, “To protect and enhance our indoor air quality and to contribute to the health and well-being of all employees, students and visitors,” as stated in the announcement, would make a larger impact if applied to Mount Carmel campus.

The campus shouldn’t have to promote smoking. It should instead be proud to promote the opposite and give resources to those struggling to quit.

Recently, a group of students hung around the backdoor of my dorm room smoking. The outdoor space they were standing on is shared between us, so technically the students weren’t doing anything wrong.

Not only did the smell creep into my common room, but we couldn’t do anything about it. We did politely ask them to move farther from our door, but the entire situation could have been avoided if this were not allowed on campus.

I’m writing this not because I just hate the smell of tobacco, but because I think it’s time we start taking care of ourselves.

By now, we should know the risks of smoking, not only for ourselves but for those around us. Instead of standing to the side, Quinnipiac can make a change and give students and faculty a reason to quit.

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About Amanda Perelli

Managing Editor
Journalism Major
Class of 2019