Letter to the Editor

Smoking ban debate to address both sides of proposition

As over 1,000 college campuses across the United States have banned smoking on campus, subsequent campus bans and attempts to eliminate smoking have been examined. This is a topic that calls upon students, faculty and community members to seek opinions on and solutions from. Whether you support a full ban, partial ban or upholding our current university policy, we invite you to join the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Campbell Public Affairs Institute in exploring this topic.

According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, there are currently 67 college campuses in New York state with smoke-free policies. Fifty-five of these are tobacco-free. Several campuses with smoke-free policies include New York University, SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Cortland. Under the current Syracuse University policy, smoking is prohibited in all indoor locations of university owned, operated or controlled property. Smoking receptacles at SU are commonly located outside of academic buildings and residence halls on campus. To date, there has been discussion of everything from a full ban to relocating receptacles, installing smoker’s gazebos and instituting fines for those who smoke outside of designated areas.

During the 55th Legislative Session of the Student Association, Colleges for Change, a program that operates within the New York State Department of Health, presented survey data that found nearly 25 percent of respondents were bothered by secondhand smoke. The survey was sent to 1,500 SU students and employees, and 1,167 responded. Fifth-year students were excluded from the sample.

While smoke-free campus initiatives have been pursued in the past, discussion and action surrounding the topic has since subsided. As student leaders, we believe that it is time to revisit this discussion and we are thrilled to be given the opportunity to do so through the Campbell Debates. We seek to fully represent the varying student interests at Syracuse University as we support opposing sides.

Cliff Douglas, Director of the University of Michigan Tobacco Research, and Duane Ford will argue in favor of the proposition. Senator John DeFrancisco and Alexandra Curtis will present the opposing arguments.

The debate will be held on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in Heroy Auditorium. We encourage all students and faculty members to attend and participate.

Respectfully,

Alexandra Curtis and Duane Ford
President and Vice President of Student Association’s 57th Legislative Session

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