One year later, is the ASU smoking ban really working?

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Arizona State University took a stand on August 1, 2013 to stop smoking on all four campuses. A year after the ban was instated, smoking students have been pushed off campus to light up in hopes that everyone else will be able to enjoy cleaner air.

The ban came into effect because ASU students were worried about second hand smoke and their health. Students that were part of the Health and Counseling Student Action Committee (HACSAC) started a petition that received up to 3,500 signatures to stop smoking on all ASU campuses.

“I like [the ban]because it’s a school campus. By smoking they aren’t just putting themselves in danger but others as well,” ASU senior Denise Huinh says.

It’s no secret that smoking is harmful to the health of smokers and those around them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, cigarette smoking accounts for one in every five deaths in the United States each year. That is 480,000 deaths annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke).

That is one person every six seconds. But despite the health risks, students are still falling victims to the habit.

ASU is not the only university to eliminate smoking on campus. In fact, they are among 800 universities that have banned tobacco.

The ban not only includes cigarettes but any tobacco product such as dip and even smokeless e-cigarettes, which have also recently been banned in Tempe public areas.

Before the ban students were allowed to smoke on campus as long as they were at least 25 feet away from entrances or if they were in the designated smoking areas. Now, students must go off campus.

“Most public areas in Arizona you can’t smoke. I don’t see ASU being any different,” sophomore Carolyn Corcoran says.

Corcoran believes the smoking ban is working, but could go even further.

“I think for the most part it is [working]. I think they can be stricter on the e-cigarettes,” she says.

However, the meaning of “off campus” can be confusing for those who are at the downtown campus. The nonsmoking areas include anywhere near the Walter Cronkite building, University Center and the Mercado building. Nonsmoking areas also include the post office and Civic Space Park.

But is the smoking ban really working or are students still getting away with lighting up a cigarette? Students around campus had some opinions of their own on the smoking ban.

“I think it is a good idea. You have to be mindful of so many students,” Samantha Shotzbarger, a senior at ASU, says. “As far as the downtown campus, I think it’s working. I haven’t seen anyone smoking.”

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