EDITORIAL: Smoking policy at CMU a good one

There is an importance in re-evaluating policies from time to time to keep up with the changing times.

The smoke-free policy review group recently put into place at Central Michigan will do just that, looking to improve the policy put into place four years ago.

CMU’s current smoking policy states that smoking is not permitted within 25 feet or inside any university building, with the exception of some university apartments.

It addresses a health issue without completely outlawing smoking on campus. By pushing smokers away from building entrances, windows and ducts, students and faculty who don’t want to put up with the smoke can avoid it for the most part.

However, this editorial board warns the policy review group that a complete ban of smoking on campus would most likely cause more problems.

While it might seem like a trendy thing to do, considering places like the University of Michigan have it in place, it’s also something that is semi-invasive and really has no place at a mid-major university like CMU.

While U-M can thrive, specifically because its Ann Arbor campus is based in the middle of the city, Mount Pleasant and CMU do not have that connection. CMU isn’t nestled in the middle of a city, but rather in a small community, where it wouldn’t make much sense to have students and faculty walk off campus or to specific smoking areas.

Furthermore, having a full-out ban could make first-year students more apt to do it in the residence halls.

A more viable option would be to move the cigarette discard receptacles further away from buildings.

At their current locations, students are tempted to stamp out their cigarettes close to building doorways and enter with a trail of smoke leading in behind them.

A complete ban on most things is not a viable option, but rather moderation should be key.


  1. There are many smokers that ignore the “distance” rules and smoke right outside doors, especially when it is raining. Also, regardless of where you put the ashtrays, many smokers still simply stomp their butts on the ground. And please don’t assume that “enforcement” is the solution. Nobody enforces the distance rule, and nobody will – campus security has better things to deal with. The only real way to solve the problem is ban tobacco on campus. More than 700 colleges have done so already, with fantastic, and popular, results.

  2. Personally I’m for a smoke free campus, but I understand why that likely won’t happen. Barnes hall used to have markers by its doors indicating the 25 foot mark where smoking is allowed. In warm weather, it mostly worked. In rain, wind and/or cold weather it was completely ignored. Smokers would huddle as close to the building/doors as possible. Campus would really need to put up something akin to bus stops that would protect smokers from wind, rain, snow and occasionally the sun if they are going to enforce the 25 foot rule.

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