Students, CMUPD react to first day of campus tobacco ban

The air surrounding Central Michigan University is slowly beginning to clear with CMU’s Tobacco-free campus policy officially beginning Tuesday.

With the ban in place, several students and university employees could be seen walking to class or work with lit cigarettes between their fingers.

Junior Sabrina Stamper, a smoker, questioned how strictly the university will be able to enforce the ban.

“I don’t think everyone will listen to CMU,” she said. “I really don’t think you can enforce it on a whole campus this size. I believe in choice. I don’t see it working.”

CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley said campus police will not directly enforce the ban. He also supports an individuals right to make personal health choices.

“What people put into their bodies is there own business,” Yeagley said. “That being said, we are the police and we deal with crime. We are not here to enforce policy. The policy outlines what the consequences are and who enforces them.”

The tobacco-free policy provided via CMU online states that a violation of the new rule can be reported to the Office of Student Conduct if the violator identifies themselves as a student.

For faculty and staff, incidents that are "persistent," should be reported to CMU's Human Relations or Faculty Personnel Services. A visitor who is not adhering to the ban should be reported to the CMU police, according to the policy.

The policy states that "all students, faculty and staff share in the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing this policy."

While the policy has its detractors, some students say the ban is an important step in a healthier direction.

Tim Patishnock graduated from CMU in 2012. Patishnock has asthma and said the smoking ban “makes all the sense in the world.”

“I actually really enjoy the smell of pure tobacco burning,” he said. “But not cigarettes. This is a public area and a public university. (Smoking) can be damaging to other people. It will be interesting to see if CMU can back up this rule.”

Varon Sahlot, a graduate student, was “shocked” to find CMU had no smoking ban when he arrived on campus last fall.

“If you really want to smoke, you can do that somewhere else,” he said. “People should understand the policy. I think it is a very good thing, for everyone.”


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