A few weeks ago we reported on U of T’s proposed smoking ban and before that we also reported on Sheridan’s announcement of a smoking ban.
Having a ban of all forms of smoking on campus is fundamentally a step in the right direction. However, I think that an outright ban slapped on in the middle of the year is also the wrong way to go about it.
While it is known that smoking of any kind can have effects on the mind and body, it is crucial to also understand the difficulty behind the addiction of tobacco and other products related to smoking.
Smokers at UTM generally have not abided by the nine meters away from a front door of a building rule, and this is exceptionally disrespectful and harmful to the rest of the student body. However, a ban won’t solve this issue. I understand that by hitting the campus with a ban, we can push our campus towards having cleaner air surrounding the campus, however, people generally don’t learn once something is taken away instantly.
If the UTM administration had decided to have permenant smoking areas, this could have had a much stronger effect than an outright ban. It takes time for people to adapt to change. A change like this so quickly will in turn make students aggravated and respond negatively to the ban.
A ban of smoking on our campus is needed indefinitely. There are far too many students who unknowingly are caught in the effects of smoking without even realizing it, that shouldn’t be. However, those who are smokers, also have their own reasons behind it, and I believe that there should still be a certain amount of respect towards them and slowly build up towards a ban in the future.
The university of Western Ontario has adopted this method of weeding out smoking from their campus. Their initiative to go smoke free began in 2015 with the aim that by July 1st, 2019, smoking would banned entirely from their campus. This has a much better effect, because it allows smokers to at least be aware for a few years and to attempt a preparation to find other locations they can smoke at, or even better, begin the steps necessary to quit smoking.
An outright ban with no preparation will result in a more negative outcome than a positive. Students will be confused and are likely to ignore the ban for quite some time before it is fully enforced. UTM should have taken it’s time and slowly rolled out the ban rather than slap it on students who are already ignoring the on campus rules.
A slow roll-out would have garnered a positive effect on campus. An immediate ban, creates more tension between students and administration.