New smoking policy to go into effect

A stricter smoking policy designating certain smoking zones will become effective on March 1.

The current policy allows smoking anywhere more than 30 feet away from a campus building. The new policy will provide 12 specific smoking zones strategically placed throughout campus. Smoking will be prohibited anywhere outside of these smoking areas.

The areas will be marked with signage in order to eliminate confusion.

Sarah Barnes, smoke free campus committee member, said the smoking policy was reviewed and ultimately changed for a few reasons.

“I think the thought of the committee was that this will be a step in the right direction in terms of improving the health and wellness of our community,” she said.

Barnes also said she hopes this policy is a good compromise for both smokers and non-smokers alike.

“I think that for those that don’t like being around smoke and who are concerned about the health effects of ingesting second hand smoke, it will be a welcome change for those people,” she said.  “I also hope for those who do choose to smoke, that they feel there are enough places that are strategically placed on campus, for them to do so.”

Barnes said the committee originally was interested in determining whether Butler could convert to a smoke-free campus.

“It didn’t seem like the campus community was ready to embrace a smoking ban on campus,” she said. “I think any steps we can take to reduce the community’s exposure to second hand smoke is a good one.”

Senior Josh Bedel said he supports the new smoking policy because he felt the old policy provided too many smoking areas.

“The new policy still allows the smokers on campus the freedom to smoke, but more so away from higher traffic areas where the secondhand smoke might be a nuisance or a problem to someone with allergies or asthma,” he said.

Junior Mike Moore said the policy will have little impact on the campus environment unless it is enforced. He doesn’t think enforcing this policy will be easy for the university.

“Unless the administration realizes that the policy isn’t being enforced and formulates effective strategies to encourage its enforcement, I don’t think the policy will be effective,” he said.

Sophomore Kyle Faulkner agrees that the policy doesn’t do much without enforcement.

“Until there are enforcers of the policy, people will continue to carry on their normal routines,” he said.

Faulkner said a smoke-free campus would be the only way to actually improve the campus environment.

“Given the controversy especially among students,” he said, “I just don’t think that’s practical.”

Faulkner said that the Butler community needs to hold each other accountable.

“Until that happens,” he said, “It seems as if the policies, unfortunately, are just another line in the handbook that on one pays attention to.”