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The Next Step in a Smoke-Free Campus

by Christina Urban

Kicking off September, Montclair State University is in its next phase to make the campus 100 percent tobacco and smoke-free.

The designated smoking areas near Dinallo Heights and the maintenance building by Sprague Field are set to be removed, while the designated smoking area by Sprague Library will be relocated closer to Alexander Kasser Theatre and Red Hawk Deck.

The administration sent out a campus-wide email on Aug. 20, stating which smoking areas will gradually be removed each semester until September 2020, when the school aims to be completely smoke-free.

“We will continue efforts to encourage individuals to self-police and to follow the regulations,” said Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life Dr. Karen Pennington in a written statement. “I don’t believe it is helpful to someone in this type of situation by punishing them; education is more important.”

Pennington said that multiple people have been spotted smoking in nondesignated areas and most weren’t aware of the policy change.

“In general, people have been very cooperative and responsive when asked to comply,” Pennington said.

Senior geography major Carlos Montufar smoked one to two cigarettes almost everyday but quit a month ago.

Montufar said he knew the school was working toward a smoke-free campus and agrees with the initiative. However, believing there’s a link between stress and smoking, he thinks the university should then provide safer alternative activities to help students de-stress.

“Smoking isn’t something that should be exposed in an academic center,” Montufar said. “Although if the campus becomes 100 percent smoke free, I think the university should implement more opportunities to try and relieve students’ stress levels.”

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