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Student Views Vary for Smoke-Free Policies

by Montclarion News

Undeclared sophomore Jennifer Barnhart blows vaporizer smoke from her mouth behind Stone Hall.
Photo Credit: Therese Sheridan

With the plan to make Montclair State a smoke-free campus on its way next semester, students are having mixed views about the upcoming policies.

The plan beginning Sept. 1, 2017, will prohibit smoking including the use of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers as well as the use of tobacco products, outside of designated smoking zones. The number of smoking zones will decrease and by Sept. 1, 2020 the campus will be 100% smoke and tobacco free. Health Promotion will offer classes for those wanting to quit.

“The new policy will be added to the University’s codes of conduct and penalties will result from those policies,” said Vice President of the University, Dr. Karen Pennington. The penalties have not yet been determined, she said.

“I understand why there would be designated smoking centers but I don’t want somebody blowing smoke into my face when I’m walking across campus, but I’m not trying to deny anybody their right to whatever,” said sophomore journalism major, Frankie Perez. “You can do whatever you want as long as you’re not being annoying about it.”

As for the completely smoke-free plan Perez said, “I think that’s completely ridiculous because people are going to do it no matter what. It’s a dry campus but people drink no matter what. Obviously, marijuana is illegal but people smoke it all of the time on campus. You can’t stop students from doing what they want to do.”

“It influences our environment because it impacts our health in a good way,” senior biology major Jaclyn Ramnarine said. “It makes sure that they don’t smoke as often,” she said.

Sophomore Jennifer Barnart said the policy would be good because she knows it can be annoying to walk behind someone smoking a cigarette and breath in the smoke; however, the 19-year- old is an occasional vaper and the smoke-free campus policy will affect her ability to freely vape.

“I think it’s good if [the University is] instilling the classes,” said sophomore psychology major Julia Knoerdel. “But I also know that you can’t just tell a smoker to quit. It’s something they have to do and have to want because some people smoke for different reasons.”

Knoerdel smokes occasionally and said even though there will be zones, people might get “agitated” because a lot of smokers do it in-between walking to different classes.

More information on the smoke-free campus policies is available in the University’s digital press release.

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