Opinion

Staff Editorial: Smoke ban sparks awareness

Students and faculty have returned this fall to a smoke-free campus. On Aug. 1, all designated smoking zones were removed to completely phase out smoking on the Coral Gables campus – the final stage in a three-phase effort that has been underway since 2011.

Nearby, Florida International University became a smoke-free campus in 2011. Miami-Dade College quickly followed suit. It was time for UM to join the effort.

UM’s Gables campus expressed support for the smoke-free initiative in a survey in 2010. Their cries have now been answered, but the question remains: Will the policy be properly enforced?

The medical campus in downtown Miami serves as a model for the initiative in Coral Gables, as it went smoke-free in 2010. Security guards at Miller are trained to ask smokers to put out their cigarettes, but on our campus, this is not part of security guards’ job description. Instead, it’s supposed to be everyone’s responsibility to help enforce the smoke-free policy.

But it doesn’t seem sufficient to ask us as students to tell our peers to stop smoking. It puts us in an uncomfortable situation. Therefore, a more rigid enforcement policy may have to be adopted.

MDC has relied on the help of the college community for enforcement, similar to UM’s strategy. But, according to an article published in MDC’s student newspaper “The Reporter,” many students continued to violate the policy one year after its adoption.

On the other hand, FIU recently introduced a three-step enforcement process. According to an article published in March by FIU’s student media website, smokers who remain on campus are regularly issued warnings, but none had been referred by campus police to University Health Services for a second violation.

UM’s enforcement policy may need to be altered, but it will take time to see if this is necessary. Until then, the university has still made a clear statement to the community: smoking is a lethal behavior, and it harms non-smokers, too.

Two years of designated smoking zones, along with the promotion of a smoking cessation program, were meant to help students and faculty quit smoking and create a healthier campus. But it’s unreasonable to expect everyone on campus to drop the habit. Prevention of secondhand smoke is the greater issue at hand.

Inevitably, there will be a noticeable reduction in the number of people smoking around campus. And that means a noticeable improvement in the quality of our fresh Miami air.

Editorials represent the majority view of  The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

August 25, 2013

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship schedule is set. The No. 4 seed Miami Hurricanes ...

The first regular season of Gino DiMare’s head-coaching era ended Saturday at Mark Light Field. But ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ hopes for hosting an NCAA regional were damaged a bit on Friday night by a 12- ...

It took a long time for Dewan Hernandez to reach a point of acceptance for what happened to his juni ...

The life of a fullback isn’t always glamorous, even 15 years ago before the position was essentially ...

The University of Miami is shaping the future of education by using innovative approaches that drive ...

Six short films created by University of Miami film students will be screened in Los Angeles this we ...

Researchers from 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries, hosted by the Institute for the Advanced ...

Two University of Miami a cappella groups, Tufaan and BisCaydence, celebrated big wins in different ...

After Alabama’s governor signed into law the most-stringent anti-abortion bill in the nation, UM exp ...

The Canes are the top team in Pool D, joined by No. 5 North Carolina and No. 9 Virginia. ...

The matchups are set for the NCAA Singles Championship and NCAA Doubles Championship at the USTA Nat ...

Chris McMahon struck out six over five shutout innings to earn his first win since April 6. ...

Miami's Second Varsity Four earned a bronze medal at the 2019 ACC Rowing Championships Saturday ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team is the ITA Southeast Region Arthur Ashe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.