Last week, The Barometer described OSU as a campus littered with thousands of cigarette butts and hundreds of students who refused to heed school rules. According to Arturo Segesman, the inconvenience of OSU’s smoking ban was met only with frustration, overwhelming any favorable improvements it caused in students’ lives.
While the article advised OSU authorities to consider implementing a new system to control tobacco use, a worker currently involved in anti-smoking efforts has a very different outlook. According to peer-health educator Breanna Micaela, most smokers still attending OSU who were there for the 2012 ban have since improved their habits. Even though these students haven’t quit smoking completely, many find the journey off campus is changing their routine for the better and making them smoke less.
More students are following the rules as well, added Micaela. She maintains that over the past three years, campus air quality has improved and there are fewer butts on the ground. However, smokers stationed directly outside of campus explained that while it would be convenient to be able to smoke walking between classes, the walk off campus is brief and rarely disruptive to schedules.
Students who started school after the ban was first enforced said the rules were easy to get used to. Sarah, a smoker in her sophomore year, said that she preferred tobacco-friendly establishments like the Interzone café, and if she had to smoke between classes she had a quick route off campus.
Another smoker commented that he’d been able to cut down on cigarettes once he started classes at OSU. “With all the rules it’s harder to smoke here, so you smoke less,” he said. “It’s definitely going to be easier to quit.” These are hopeful words for college students in neighboring cities who also wish to quit or cut down on their smoking: consider transferring to OSU.
By Kiki Genoa