Once upon a time, I worked at a school with a no-smoking policy. Smoking was not allowed anywhere on campus. You would see students (and employees!) walk to the edge of campus to have their cigarettes. It was a wonderful place.

The other three schools I have worked at have all had policies that could could smoke X feet away from the building. Many took this to believe that they could smoke X feet away from the DOOR which two places meant right outside my window. Lovely. The third school set up a little “smokers’ area” with a picnic table but it’s right next to my air conditioner which means I ALWAYS know when somebody is smoking out there. It makes it really easy to catch all my residents that smoke “illegal substances”.

Why is having a smoke free campus better than merely limiting smoking on campus? In addition to having smokers congregate outside my window, I’ve gotten stuck behind smokers walking on a campus pathway, and had to force myself through packs of smokers (HA get it?) huddling outside doorways and overhangs when the weather is unpleasant.

Banning smoking on campus will also make for a cleaner campus! No cigarette butts, empty packs, or plastic wrappers littering the ground in areas that smokers commonly use. For campuses that have those extra ash tray things either mounted to walls of buildings or free standing, they won’t need to be there any more (which is good because they are ugly) and your custodial staff won’t have to spend extra time cleaning them.

What are some of the smoking policies you have seen at either institutions you’ve attended or worked at? What sort of policy would you want in place at your school?

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