A Smoke-Free Campus Follow-Up


Sala Wier

A sign outside of Bierce Library alerts students and visitors of The University of Akron’s tobacco-free policy.

By Sala Wier, Copy Editor

On July 1, 2017, The University of Akron became a smoke and tobacco-free campus. This ban goes beyond just prohibiting cigarettes. It also means that all forms of tobacco and nicotine, including vapes, are not allowed to be used on campus, including campus parking lots.

The University of Akron was one of the many colleges in Ohio, including Kent State, that implemented some type of smoking ban on their campus. Campus Wellness said that the new policy is “in keeping with our goal of being a safe, healthy, clean, respectful and welcoming campus.”

In the past seven months of this policy’s start, not much has seemed to change on campus. So far, Campus Wellness just encourages everyone to politely remind each other of the new rule as awareness of it increases.

“I still see people smoking outside of Bierce or vaping on the way to class. It doesn’t bother me, but I wonder if these students know about the smoking ban, or if anybody tells them to stop,” junior Adrian Mendez, said.

One freshman at the University, who chose to remain unnamed, did get caught smoking outside of a residence hall. Campus Police told her that she was violating campus policy and took her name and student ID number.

“I got an email from Student Conduct informing me that I would have to attend a ‘fact-checking meeting’ to discuss the incident and consequences,” she said. At the meeting, she was informed that she would have to write a two-page essay about the Student Code of Conduct and pay a $50 fine.

“This incident opened my eyes to the consequences of smoking on campus. One positive thing about the whole experience was learning about the services offered on campus to help students and faculty quit smoking,” the student said.

Student Health Services offers the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking program. This program helps to successfully stop smoking. To sign up, visit the department at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center or call 330-972-7808.

Student Health Services can also write prescriptions for smoking cessation products (oral medications or nicotine replacement, such as gum/patches). A $15 visit charge would apply. There are also additional services for employees, more information can be found here.

Having a smoke-free campus helps keep the University clean, and it is courteous to others who don’t smoke. The University also is providing students and faculty with the tools to help keep Akron a smoke-free campus. The Buchtelite would love to hear about any additional stories or opinions regarding the smoking ban, email [email protected].