With the recent proposal to make UTC a tobacco-free campus by Student Health Services, the Echo staff weighed in on their opinion of this possibility.
The staff is nearly evenly split whether initiating a tobacco-free policy on campus would be a good idea, however, all staff members agree that there are notable negative effects of tobacco products.
Those in favor of the new policy hope it will limit the intake of second-hand smoke and overall health of people on campus who choose not to use tobacco products. They would instead rather see people move off campus to smoke rather than be in common areas that students often walk through.
One staff member feels that, when compared to other schools who are tobacco-free., UTC is behind the times.
Another staff member is unsure how this proposed policy would work for on-campus residents around their residences and feels many things need to be clarified before it could be implemented.
Of the staff in disagreement with the proposal, they find it to be an encroachment on students’ rights to do a legal activity.
Across the editorial staff, we mostly agree that designated smoking areas on campus would be a more practical option as compared to an entire ban on tobacco. Those not in favor of the ban would be fine with the designated areas in spaces already commonly used for smoking, while those in favor of the ban would rather see it in the less-visited areas.
While the staff may be in disagreement about the proposal for a tobacco-free campus, we agree that there are extreme negative side effects that come with tobacco use and secondhand smoke. We believe individuals have the right to use the substances if they wish, but whether they can be used on campus is to be determined.