New Smoking Areas

by Jessica Buettner

This past week, Benedictine University officials announced that there were going to be new areas designated to just smoking. The issue of smoking has been brought up by numerous students as they are trying to be aware of their health and well-being.
Officials of the campus have come together to officially announce the five designated areas for smokers. The locations that have been designated, specifically for smokers include: Founders’ Woods clubhouse drive, the northwest side of Krasa, the area between Neuzil Hall and Rice Center, the south side of Scholl, and the bike rack nearby he parking garage.
Students are advised that smoking outside of the designated areas may lead to fines. University officials ask everyone to respect the locations and they strongly encourage a culture of compliance. Members of the campus are asked to inform others about these new locations in an ongoing effort to enhance awareness.
The community wants to promote the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors. The Benedictine community is known for ensuring and maintaining a safe and friendly environment for everyone to enjoy. There are some faculty and students who are susceptible than others, such as people with allergies to tobacco and people with respiratory diseases such as asthma. The community has to work together to promote the message and awareness of these changes so they could go into effect as soon as possible.
There are various statistics about adults smoking from the past year and they are really make a person think twice about smoking. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one in five American adults currently smoke cigarettes. It also states that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., accounting for more than 1 of every 5 deaths.
Despite the fact that a good number of Americans choose to smoke, there has been a sign of changes in terms of the percentages of people who smoke. The CDC website states that “current smoking habits have declined from nearly 20.9% of adults in 2005 to nearly 16.8% of adults in 2014”. This change could be a result of law changes and other policies that have been enforced by either national or state governments. The policies may include information about designated areas of where people can smoke and also the distance that they have to be from a building in order to smoke.
There was also the introduction of water vapor cigarettes, which are far less harmful than regular tobacco cigarettes. This is because electronic cigarette doesn’t contain tobacco and this doesn’t produce the chemicals and carcinogens that cause forms of cancer and heart disease.
The university hopes to see good outcomes to these changes amongst various members of the community.
“This topic will be revisited in April to determine if the steps we have taken have benefited the BenU community,” said Marco Mansini in the email that was sent out on February 2nd.
For now, it is encouraged for people to advise others where these new locations are so they could start being used more often. The more people begin to use these designated locations, the more changes can begin to occur around campus. If there are any questions regarding the new policy, please contact campus police.