SU officials should not ban tobacco on campus, despite results of student survey

Tobacco should not be banned on the Syracuse University campus.

The Campus Sustainability Committee created a task force to consider making SU tobacco-free after a recent student survey revealed that many oppose smoking. However, a majority of The Daily Orange Editorial Board said a ban would not only be difficult for the university to monitor and enforce, but it would also hinder the freedom of students who do use tobacco products.

The effects of tobacco use should not be ignored. University officials should continue to educate students on its health risks. However, a ban on tobacco will not be an effective policy at SU due its ambitious goal.

Students could find loopholes within the new policy to avoid the restrictions imposed by the ban.

To effectively implement this ban, university officials would have to tightly monitor all areas of campus. However, the ability of campus resources and administration to handle a goal of this magnitude is questionable. Because of this, usage would likely continue, regardless of a policy.

Another factor in the decision to ban tobacco is the interaction between tobacco users and non-users and the potential for second-hand smoke. Still, this does not warrant a campus-wide ban.

While the smell of cigarette smoke is a nuisance to many on campus, it is a minor inconvenience compared to prohibiting the use of tobacco products for those who rely on them.

Smoking is a lifestyle the university should not upend purely because of surveyed opposition. University officials should gather perspectives from student and faculty smokers before the proposal for the ban is pushed forward. These individuals would be most affected by the change, and their input should be more heavily taken into consideration.

Tobacco use is a freedom and university officials should treat it as such. College students are of the age to determine how they use the substance. The campus doesn’t need a policy to mandate such habits.


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