More than one year ago, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point decided to ban the use of all tobacco products on campus. Despite this, students and faculty continue to have varying opinions concerning the ban.
The ban requires students and faculty who use tobacco products to do so off campus. Brewster Johnson, junior natural resource planning major, said he does not consider himself to be a smoker but is not in support of the ban.
“I think the bottom line is that it is a decision that the university should not be making. I think it’s more of a personal decision. I feel like a solution that meets halfway would be to have designated smoking areas on campus,” Johnson said.
Johnson said there is a good objective behind the ban, but he does not feel the ban is a realistic way to stop students and faculty at UWSP from using tobacco products.
Alec Cannata, junior wildland fire science major, said he does not use tobacco products and is also not in favor of the ban.
“I do think that it’s stupid to punish people and make them walk off campus because some people are bothered by smokers. I also think it violates people’s rights in some ways,” Cannata said.
Cannata said since the ban, he sees fewer people smoking on campus. However, he said he continues to see students chewing tobacco on campus and even in class.
“I don’t think the ban is necessary. It doesn’t affect me that people are smoking or chewing,” he said.
But Jack Duffy, junior paper science major, said he is not a supporter of smoking and feels the ban has led to a cleaner campus.
“I have definitely have seen less people smoking on campus, even though I did see a few people smoking recently,” Duffy said. “I would still say overall it’s been fairly effective.”
Austin Lowe, junior health promotion major, said he feels the ban makes it more inconvenient for students and faculty members to smoke throughout the day.
“If your college campus doesn’t support smoking on campus and is going to the extent of banning it from campus, then the smoking ban is a step in the right direction for making those that smoke aware of their unhealthy lifestyle choice,” Lowe said.
Chris Williams, professor of English, continues to smoke cigarettes on campus despite the ban. Williams said the ban is taking away the right to smoke, a right he said he feels students and faculty should have.
“I am fine with encouraging wellness, but you have to let people decide what to do with information. It’s not our job to dictate what people do,” Williams said.