Smoking Ban Survey Shows Mixed Opinions

by Jake Hawkins
Staff

The results are in from a campus-wide survey on the use of tobacco products on Transylvania’s campus. The survey sampled all campus constituencies—faculty, staff, and students and the results are being used to help the smoking policy committee make recommendations.

Of those surveyed, 21.93 percent admitted to smoking, either regularly or socially, while 9.67 percent identified themselves as a former smoker.

Additionally, 67.53 percent surveyed agreed (either very strongly, strongly or simply) that the “current tobacco policy addresses my concerns.”Additionally, 13.99 percent felt neutral, while 17.62 percent of those surveyed disagreed with the statement (very strongly, strongly, or simply).

However, when asked what measure they preferred be taken on campus 38.86 percent of respondents preferred the current policy, smoking only permitted 20 feet away from building entrances, while 34.2 percent preferred a smoking ban, with 16.41 of those preferring the ban to include smokeless tobacco as well.

The survey also asked questions regarding whether a strict policy would affect admissions, student morale, faculty moral, staff morale and retention. In all cases the majority believed that a strict policy would have little to no effect.

The chairman of the smoking exploratory committee, Ashley Hinton-Moncer, presented the results Tuesday during open hour using a Power-Point titled “A Case for a Tobacco Free Campus”.

Following the release of the results, a campus-wide forum was held in Cowgill 102 moderated by Philosophy Professor Dr. Jack Furlong. The forum had low turnout and, according to Hinton-Moncer, a subsequent forum may be held and possibly hosted by SGA,

A portion of the forum discussion was devoted to a partial ban, allowing smoking only in designated areas, versus a blanket ban.

Dean Kathleen Jagger, a member of the committee, said “One of the arguments for the policy of a smoke-free or tobacco-free campus is that the current policy is not enforceable for a variety of reasons.”

Sophomore and resident adviser Joseph Underwood said “I’ve tried enforcing it with my ‘powers’ with very very little success… I don’t think anything will work besides a full ban.”

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