After being in effect less than a month, Texas Wesleyan University’s non-smoking policy has already divided opinions.
There are those, such as, Greg Neil, a transfer student from Tarrant County College, who believe the policy will help the campus.
Others, however, such as Samantha Herrington, a senior English major, believe the policy infringes on their rights as smokers.
The Wesleyan no-smoking policy went into effect Aug. 20, 2014, according to the university web site. The ban includes all tobacco products, from cigarettes to cigars to smokeless tobacco to electronic cigarettes.
The ban includes university vehicles, athletic facilities, and all campus buildings, according to the site. The policy also prohibits tobacco advertising, and money being accepted from tobacco companies. No monetary amounts are listed for policy violations.
Student Government Association President Tyler Mendez said that because the new policy is much more demanding than past policies, such as smoking only in designated areas, it represents “the last straw” for campus smoking.
“But you always have the right to smoke in your own car as long as the fumes do not escape your vehicle on campus,” he said.
Mendez also said that some students may have been confused about where they could smoke on campus in the past, but that the complete ban on smoking now should clear up the confusion.
Herrington says that the policy is not only too strict, but also ignores the fact that there is no tobacco in electronic cigarettes.
“Going to the edge of campus to smoke is time-consuming, not to mention aggravating,” she said.
Herrington also said that it is hard for many people to simply stop smoking “cold turkey,” and that she didn’t want to smoke in her car because “no one wants to walk to class smelling like an ashtray.”
Neil, on the other hand, said the policy is a step forward for Wesleyan.
“Health-related problems due to smoking are a huge drain on our health care system,” he said in a text message. “Anything to reduce the acceptability of smoking is a good thing.”